Monday, January 3, 2011

Fishing with your mouth is illegal in Pennsylvania

So maybe it is possible to catch
fish in one's mouth!
If you’re going to go fishing in the state of Pennsylvania, you’d better use a fishing rod. Or at least avoid using your mouth, lest you be cited by the game warden.

That’s right, if you catch a fish with your mouth you will be subjected to a $100 fine for “illegal mouth-fishing.”

We’re not kidding!

As we embark on a new year and many states enact new state laws, we take a look at some weird state laws that have been on the books for years and are, to say the least, absurd. on Friday wrote about a recent Pittsburgh Tribune-Review article which focused on the topic, particularly the law in Pennsylvania that is in need of some major tweaking.

It prohibits using your mouth, hands or dynamite to catch fish. Hands? OK, we get that. Mouth? Uh, what we're they thinking? Dynamite? What, you don’t think people would actually use dynamite for fishing? Then check this out.

Emil Svetahor, a law enforcement supervisor who has worked for the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission for nearly 30 years, told the Tribune-Review that he has yet to nab anybody for fishing with their mouth.

We know bears have the ability to catch fish in their mouth, but people? Seriously (the above photo notwithstanding)? That is why it's a weird law and in need of disappearing.

According to the story, however, repealing outdated state laws -- many dating to the 1700s -- can be tedious, time-consuming and costly, so they are best left alone.

Oh well, at least the weird laws give plenty of material for guys like Jeff Koon and Andy Powell of They even wrote a book on the topic: “You May Not Tie an Alligator to a Fire Hydrant: 101 Real Dumb Laws.” 

From, other weird laws that people in the great outdoors ought to be aware of, lest they be cited:

  • In Alaska, it is considered an offense to feed alcoholic beverages to a moose.
  • In Arizona, it’s illegal to hunt for camels.
  • In Florida, it’s illegal to skateboard without a license.
  • In Hawaii, all residents may be fined as a result of not owning a boat.
  • In Boise, Idaho, you may not fish on a camel’s back.
  • In Illinois, it is forbidden to fish while sitting on a giraffe’s neck. (At right, a zebra shows the illegal technique.) 
  • In Kansas, no one may catch fish with his bare hands. (OK, not so outdated.)
  • In Ocean City, N.Y., eating while swimming in the ocean is prohibited.
  • In South Carolina, it’s illegal to fish with a yo-yo. (Yeah, good luck figuring that one out.)

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