The penalties of fishing without a valid license vary from state to state. Although, the general rules and range of amerce is nearly the same. You might escape with a caution and fish is impounded. You might also be booked and heavily fined up to $500, and if you are really unfortunate, or you continue with the act, you may face jail term.
Most times, you will be issued a ticket if you are found guilty of fishing without a license. You are hereby mandated to collect this ticket and sign on it. It is expected of you to pay the fine within 30 days of ticket issuance.
This will serve as a proof that you have accepted your mistake and right to trial, but your acceptance is not legally responsible for other proceedings. It will just assist in implementing suitable penalty for further desecrations. However, the regional court will pass the final judgment. The court defines your guilt and agrees on the fine you deserves.
If it happens to be your first violation, the fine is usually above $50. Thus, if the violation continues, the subsequent fine will be more than $50 and less than $500. If you actually own a legal fishing license but could not produce it at the time you were sentenced, you have the opportunity to tender at the regional court. You will only have to pay the court fee which is usually $10.
In a situation whereby you refuse to show up at the trial, did not pay the fine or you rejected the ticket, then your offense is treated as a second-degree crime. You will be sentenced to 60-day jail term and pay a sum of $500 fine.
However, if you continue to violate the policy of fishing with a valid license, the wildlife conservation officer can confiscate any of your property found to be reasonable. There is high probability you might lose the possession of these properties and mandated to pay a fine of $25000 or sentence of 365-days jail term will be the final decision. This will be treated under section 92.1 of the conservation laws.
Exemptions To The Fishing License
Some categories of individuals are exempted from owing a fishing license. The age range of 16 years to 65 years are mandated to possess a fishing license before they can be allowed to fish. People that falls under or above this aforementioned age categories will not be needing any fishing license.
If you wish to go fishing in a farmhouse you own or belongs to your child or spouse’s, then you will not be needing a fishing license.
Military personnel are also exempted to some extent from owing a fishing license when fishing in their home country. This will work only if you are not making use of fish management areas and rod mechanism and must possess a live bait for fishing.
Above and beyond, there are also some exclusions to saltwater and freshwater fishing licenses.
Types Of Fishing Licenses
In order to circumvent the huge fines and consequences of defying the conservation law, it is appropriate to buy a fishing license and adhere to the rules and regulations of fishing. However, the rules and regulations formulated for fishing are dissimilar for different kinds of licenses. It is compulsory that you follow the rules diligently and abide by your kind of license.
Sport fishing license is a kind of license that places restriction on the amount of fish you can capture. Thus, the advantage of this type of license is that you can have the largest share of the fish captured by yourself.
Conservation license is another type of license. This type of license is appropriate for those who have the intention of releasing majority of the fishes they capture, keeping few of their catches to themselves. You are restricted to the type of species to be captured with this kind of license.
The conservation license is not as costly as the sports license and is appropriate for individuals who go fishing occasionally.
Buying A Fishing License
To escape the weighty fine, ensure you have purchased an updated fishing license. The fishing license becomes obsolete every year on the 30th of June. I will advise you to update your fishing license in the month of June as it is not a good idea to let a license lapse.
Majority of the convenience and fish stores sell fishing licenses. You can search online via google and the likes to get your fishing license. You can also look out for license details to agree on the kind of license that is appropriate for you. Make the payment online using different methods such as MasterCard, credit card, etc.
Sales representative phone numbers are being provided to through which you can buy your fishing license. You can also buy your license for fishing at the offices of Wildlife and Fisheries.
The price tag for an elementary fishing license that allows you to fish in fresh water is $17.50. it is however free for a saltwater fishing license, an onshore recreational fishing. With this license, you will be allowed to fish with a cane pole and live bait.
Lifetime licenses are provided for serious and devoted fishermen. Price for this license ranges from $200 to $500. The actual fee of your license will be determined by your age and the kind of license you want.
What Do The Laws Say?
Any individual who is willing to go fishing need to understand the following points covered under Environmental Conservation Law. Failure to follow these rules may result to being sentenced by fine or imprisoned.
|1||Hunt or trap any animal, bird, or fish or parts of them in any way and for any purpose.|
|2||Hunt or trap any animal, bird, or fish or parts of them in any way and for any purpose, exemption to few places and at certain time duration formulated by the law or any prescribed department.|
|3||Hunt or trap any animal, bird, or fish or parts of them in any way and for any purpose, and should not purchase, sell, import or export them without any license or permit from the concerned department.|
|4||Hunt or trap any animal, bird, or fish or parts of them in any way and for any purpose, if the person is not resident.|
|5||Hunt or trap migratory bird or fish without the license from the concerned department.|
|6||Hunt or trap any animal, bird, or fish or parts of them in any way and for any purpose, if the said animal or fish is wounded.|
Do You Need A Fishing License For Catch And Release?
The rules and regulation differ from region to region. However, in most cases you will be needing a license for fishing irrespective of your intention to capture and release.
Conservation areas like National Parks and Game reserves may ask for supplementary permit while others may allow you fish without a valid fishing license. Thus, you must do your findings before you begin capturing and releasing.
Texas for example does not require a license to fish in the parks if you will be releasing any captured fish. The story is not the same in Florida where you must own a fishing license regardless of where you are fishing or the king of fishing you are practicing. To confuse you further, you can be permitted to fish without a license in California if you will be fishing from a pier.
In conclusion, if you are in areas that require a fishing license, it is highly compulsory you get one. It is also essential to follow the rules and regulations formulated by the kind of license you carry. In accordance with the Environmental Conservation Law, you are expected to buy a fishing license if you are above 16 years of age and willing to fish. The cost for obtaining a fishing license is not up to $10 but if you are caught fishing without your license the fine is outrageous likewise the penalty is heavy.