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Regulations by Species
REPTILES & AMPHIBIANS - Seasons & Limits
Species Season Daily Limit Possession Limit
Bullfrog July 1 through October 31 10 (combined species) 20 (combined species)
American Green Frog July 1 through October 31 10 (combined species) 20 (combined species)
Snapping Turtle July 1 through October 31 15 30
Amphibian Eggs and Tadpoles No closed season 15 (combined species) 15 (combined species)
Timber Rattlesnake* June 9 through July 31 1 annual limit** (must be at least 42 inches in length, measured lengthwise along the dorsal surface from the snout to the tail, excluding the rattle, and must possess 21 or more subcaudal scales.***)
Eastern Copperhead June 9 through July 31 1 annual limit**
* It is unlawful to hunt, take, catch, or kill Timber Rattlesnakes west of Route 15 and south of Interstate 81 to the Maryland line where there is no open season.
** It is unlawful to possess, take, catch, or kill more than one Timber Rattlesnake or Eastern Copperhead per calendar year except as provided in Chapter 79.7(f) (Fish & Boat Code) relating to organized reptile and amphibian hunt permits. It is unlawful to possess more than one Timber Rattlesnake or Eastern Copperhead at any time except as provided in Chapter 79.7(f) (Fish & Boat Code).
*** Subcaudal scales are large flat scales located on the underside of a Timber Rattlesnake between the vent (anal scale) and the base of the tail rattle.
See our Fish Consumption Advisory for snapping turtle consumption advice.
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The following ENDANGERED and THREATENED native species have NO OPEN SEASON.
The DAILY LIMIT is 0 (zero) and POSSESSION LIMIT is 0 (zero).
The Commission has identified some species of reptiles, amphibians, fish and aquatic organisms as endangered, threatened or candidate species. Endangered and threatened species face extirpation and have NO OPEN SEASON.
SALAMANDERS
Eastern Mud Salamander (Endangered)
Green Salamander (Threatened)
Blue-spotted Salamander (Endangered)
FROGS and TOADS
Eastern Spadefoot (Endangered)
New Jersey Chorus Frog (Endangered)
Eastern Cricket Frog (Endangered)
Coastal Plains Leopard Frog (Endangered)
SNAKES
Eastern Massasauga (Endangered)
Kirtland's Snake (Endangered)
Northern Rough Greensnake (Endangered)
TURTLES
Bog Turtle (Endangered)
Southeastern Mud Turtle (Endangered)
Northern Red-bellied Cooter (Endangered)
ENDANGERED, THREATENED AND CANDIDATE FISH SPECIES - complete listing
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The following native reptile and amphibian species have NO OPEN SEASON.
The DAILY LIMIT is 0 (zero) and POSSESSION LIMIT is 0 (zero).
SALAMANDERS
Eastern Hellbender
Four-toed Salamander
Jefferson Salamander
Marbled Salamander
Mudpuppy
Northern Ravine Salamander
FROGS and TOADS
Mountain Chorus Frog
Upland Chorus Frog
Western Chorus Frog
SNAKES
Eastern Hog-nosed Snake
Eastern Ribbonsnake
Eastern Smooth Earthsnake
Eastern Wormsnake
Mountain Earthsnake
Queensnake
Short-headed Gartersnake
Smooth Greensnake
TURTLES
Blanding's Turtle
Woodland Box Turtle
Spotted Turtle
Wood Turtle
SKINKS / LIZARDS
Broadhead Skink
Eastern Fence Lizard
Northern Coal Skink
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The following native reptile and amphibian species have NO CLOSED SEASON.
The DAILY LIMIT is 1 (one) and POSSESSION LIMIT is 1 (one).
SALAMANDERS
Allegheny Mountain Dusky Salamander
Eastern Red-backed Salamander
Red-spotted Newt
Eastern Long-tailed Salamander
Northern Dusky Salamander
Northern Red Salamander
Northern Slimy Salamander
Northern Spring Salamander
Northern Two-lined Salamander
Seal Salamander
Spotted Salamander
Wehrle's Salamander
Valley and Ridge Salamander
FROGS and TOADS
Eastern American Toad
Gray Treefrog
Fowler's Toad
Northern Leopard Frog
Pickerel Frog
Spring Peeper
Wood Frog
SNAKES
Eastern Gartersnake
Eastern Milksnake
Eastern Ratsnake
Northern Black Racer
DeKay's Brownsnake
Red-bellied Snake
Northern Ring-necked Snake
Northern Watersnake
TURTLES
Eastern Musk Turtle
Eastern Painted Turtle
Eastern Spiny Softshell
Northern Map Turtle
Midland Painted Turtle
SKINKS / LIZARDS
Common Five-lined Skink
The practice of catch and release of amphibians and reptiles is encouraged.
Additional Restrictions for ALL Reptiles & Amphibians
  • A fishing license is required to catch or take reptiles and amphibians from the lands and waters of the Commonwealth.
  • Unless otherwise indicated, reptiles and amphibians may only be taken by hand, hook, snake tongs, turtle hooks, traps and nets less than four feet square or four feet in diameter.
  • It is unlawful to take, catch or kill a reptile or amphibian through the use of firearms, chemicals, explosives, winches, jacks or other devices.
  • It is unlawful to damage or disrupt the nest or eggs of a reptile or to gather, take or possess the eggs of any reptile in the natural environment of this Commonwealth.
  • It is unlawful to damage or destroy habitat in the pursuit of a reptile or amphibian.
  • It is unlawful to take, catch, kill or possess for the purposes of selling or offering for sale, importing or exporting for consideration, trading or bartering or purchasing an amphibian or reptile whether dead or alive, in whole or in parts, including the eggs or any life stage that was taken from lands or waters within this Commonwealth.
  • It is unlawful to transport or import into or within this Commonwealth a native species from another jurisdiction. It is also unlawful to receive a native species that was transported or imported into or within this Commonwealth from another jurisdiction.
  • Taking, catching and possessing amphibians and reptiles in Department of Conservation and Natural Resources natural areas designated by posters is prohibited.

Frogs

  • The use of artificial light to take frogs at night is illegal.
  • Frogs may be taken with long bow and arrow, including compound bows, crossbows, spears or gigs. Spears or gigs may not have more than five barbs and cannot be used in stocked trout waters.

Turtles

  • Set-lines, turtle traps, or other devices for catching turtles must include a tag indicating the name, address and phone number of the owner or user. Traps, nets or other devices must be of a floating or partially submerged design so as to allow for the release of untargeted turtles. Hooks must be at least 3.5 inches long with not less than one inch space between the point and shank of the hook. The number of lines or hooks per line is unlimited.
Permits
A permit is required to hunt, take, catch, kill or possess Timber Rattlesnakes and Eastern Copperhead snakes.

A permit is required to hunt, take, catch or kill common Snapping Turtles for the purpose of sale, barter or trade.

To purchase Venomous Snake and Commercial Turtle permits, visit your license issuing agent. Commercial Turtle Permits can also be purchased online at www.pa.wildlifelicense.com.

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Summary Book Index
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