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Weed Shark

Question for Fishing History Buffs

4 posts in this topic

Okay history buffs...When was the first American fishing seasons?

I just started pondering this tonight, and plan to research this a bit. Maybe your two cents will help me organize my thoughts. I'm thinking the early 1900's; a code of ethics was developed because some had no reason to limit the amount of fish they caught.

How did it start; bag limits, seasons, when, where?

*I posted the same question, about hunting seasons, in the hunting forum.

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Not sure, but I did hear that the first crankbaits were developed over 200 years ago and that fishing has been around, using a hook, in the B.C. sometime. I'm interested in what you get as an answer as well.

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Interesting thoughts. A quick search shows that PA had their first ever fishing license in 1919.

PA license sales history 1919 to present

edit: Wow, PA has even more info on boat registrations, etc., here:

More PA history info, boat reg info for the first ever motors.

Kansas has a good timeline here, and it looks like first hunting "season" was 1905 and fishing season was 1927:

Kansas history of Natural Resource Dept.

I could not find much at all on MN.

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Thanks for the info

For Pennsyvania, the 1800's seem mostly to be about fish hatching and stocking, with the exception of a couple of old laws:

"1868 - Legislature passed a law prohibiting the use of seines for taking fish within 200 yards of any device erected for the passage of fish."

"1878 - Act of June 3, 1878, forbade fishing on Sunday."

Also of note, First Limits..

"1925 - Creel limits set at: trout - 25; bass - 10; walleye - 10; pickerel - 15; and muskellunge - 3."

First Trout Opening Day...

"Regulations established a trout opening day beginning in 1950, having been legislated under the Fish Law of 1949 (Act 65). The Act prohibited fishing of any kind in all waters of the Commonwealth, between March 14 and 5:00 a.m., April 15 in any year, except in rivers, ponds and lakes not stocked with trout by the Commission. The new law prohibits fishing in trout streams which are stocked by the state for a month prior to the opening of the legal season on trout."

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