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On Memorial Day, Monday, May 26, 2014 and Independence Day, Friday, July 4, 2014 fishing is free of charge at Ridley Lake on Pennsylvania's two "Fish for Free Days." On these two days, there's on license, no permits, and no experience necessary if you want to test you luck at hauling-in a big one.

On the rest of the 363 days a year, a current Pennsylvania fishing license, signed in ink and displayed (attach to a hat or outer garment), is required for anyone age 16 and over to fish, angle for any species of fish, take fish bait, or baitfish. Active military are also required to have a valid fishing license.

You need a license to cast or retrieve a fishing line; whether it's by rod, reel, or hand lining, whether it's for you, another person or a minor.  You even need a license to fish waters, lakes and rivers on private land, wholly owned by a homeowners association, or on a a private club.
 
The only exception to PA's fishing law is that landowners and their family members are allowed fish on their own land without a license provided they are yearlong residents.  The exception does not apply to renters, tenants, employees, friends of the family, relatives, in-laws, guests or lessors of the land.
 
An adult helping a child fish, cast, or retrieve a fishing line does not need a fishing license if the child is actively involved in fishing and the child fishing stays within arms reach of the adult giving assistance. Adults without a license can be actively involved in the fishing activity by baiting hooks, removing a hook from the fish, netting a fish, and untangling the line.
 
Pennsylvania has a number of specific fishing places exclusively for children under 12 years and for anglers with disabilities.
 
Since 2012 it's been possible to buy a multi-year fishing license from the Fish and Boat Commission.  When you buy a multi-year license, you pay a single processing fee and you save the years processing fee. For instance, a 3-year license, you will save $3.40. When you buy a multi-year license, you receive a free online subscription to Pennsylvania Angler and Boater magazine, special offers from retailers, and discount coupons for sporting goods. Senior Resident Lifetime license are available to PA residents 65 and over.
 
PA Licenses and permits can be obtained 1 of 3 ways:
    • Licenses and permits can be purchased at DelCo Court House, License Issuing Agents, County 

      or Fish & Boat Commission offices
    • You can buy online with a credit card to the Outdoor Shop at PA Fish and Boat Commission.
    • You can complete a license application online, print it, and then send it to the PA Fish and Boat

        Commission with a check or money order.
 
Fishing at Ridley Park Lake in Eastlake Park is more than sitting on the bank - it's listening to the breeze, feeling the wind, and watching the bobber ripple in the water. And when your fishing day is over you'll feel the freedom of spending time in the great outdoors, you'll be less stressed, and you might have had an experience with a fish at the end of your line - it's all good.

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