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can a felon get a fishing license?

It is a common practice in many states for any person to be convicted. Many states have laws that govern it. Most people who go against these laws always end up on the wrong side of the state. They always find themselves on the receiving end of the justice system. Once an individual is charged and found guilty, there are laid down formalities like the sentencing. People are sentenced to serve time in jail and other correctional facilities in the state. Becoming a felon is a difficult thing for very many reasons. There are certain privileges that are withdrawn. Mostly in life, you might fail to live freely as previously before conviction.

Can a felon get a fishing license?

There are various felons and getting any fishing license depends on them. Once an individual has been charged and found guilty of a felony; one can be sentenced to serve time in jail, one can also be released on bail, one can be released on parole or a felon could have served and completed his sentence. In most cases, a felon who is supposed to serve time in jail cannot access these services. It is very hard to coordinate fishing activities when you are serving a jail term.

Most jails in many states do not allow outside jail business with inmates. The process of acquiring a fishing license is suitable for free citizens who have enough time to work on them. It is not easy for any convicted felon to acquire a fishing license. When it comes to a felon on parole, it sounds logical that there is some free movement. In many states, a fishing license is easily acquired from the relevant offices in the state. The process of acquiring it might be as simple as walking there and paying the necessary fees and docents.

After that is done one is good to go about the business without any further questions. One might not even disclose whether he is a felon or not. Sometimes the felony does not count when acquiring the license. As long as you are free to purchase it and follow the laid down procedures. Lastly, when a felon has served and completed time in jail, it is logical enough to be regarded as a free person. In most states, one regains all the privileges as earlier on before conviction. The process of acquiring a fishing license can be normal as everyone else in such scenarios.

After serving a sentence, a felon is free and can be able to access any state services without any problem. Then there is this special case. One can be convicted of a felony due to breaking the fishing laws in a state. This can force the law enforcement authorities to sentence him with certain conditions. One such condition might be, prohibiting the felon from participating in any fishing activity ever. If such a condition is given in the ruling of the sentencing, then a felon can never acquire any fishing license. In any case, they participate in any fishing activity, then, they will be committing another crime subject to another jail term.

Why do you need a fishing license?

A fishing license is very important in the fishing industry. The idea of introducing it in most states was meant to control a lot of things. The marine life can help raise the state revenue collections. The licenses are offered at a fee. This fee is usually used to fund projects related to fishery and marine life. So, instead of the state diverting resources collected from other sources, they use the revenues to improve marine projects.

Fishing licenses are also essential in making sure those active fishermen who make and do business out of fish pay taxes to the state just like any other business person. One also needs a fishing license so as to follow the rules and regulations. Acquiring a fishing license comes with certain conditions. One needs to know the extent of fishing in terms of numbers. One has to also know the number of times to fish in a given time period, the size of fish stipulated and even the right seasons to fish.

The license is also very essential in the identification of legal fishermen from poachers. Poachers fish without limits and deny legal fishermen an opportunity. The rules and regulations of fishing stipulate various penalties associated with poaching. In case one needs to fish well, a fishing license comes in handy. In case one is caught by the authorities, they are bound to be charged in terms of fines and jail terms. A fishing license can save such happenings.

A fishing license can also help acquire state help in terms of education, protection when fishing, stable fish population through stocking and many more this is advantageous to the fishermen who in turn can fish plentifully. The research funded through the purchase of these licenses can help fishermen learn the fish reproduction, how the fish mate and how they migrate.

Consequences of not having a fishing license

Various states have set rules and regulation of fishing. In these regulations, they state categorically the required conditions of fishing. One of them possesses a fishing license. What happens if you fish without one? It is illegal to fish without a fishing license. This is regarded as a criminal. Any criminal activity attracts a penalty or being charged for a sentence.

In most states, such a crime requires one to pay for the license in the normal rate and add a penalty fine stipulated in the regulations. The penalty might differ according to the time frame one has fished without the license. The penalty ranges from at least 50 dollars to 1000 dollars depending on the cost of the fishing license. Other states dictate court charges.

one is charged in a court of law, in accordance with the fishing rules and regulations, the defendant if found guilty, is charged. Charges differ depending on the level of charges leveled against the accused. Some states dictate fines; others dictate time in jail while others dictate both.

Types of fishing licenses

1. Freshwater license: This is a license that allows fishermen to fish in freshwater bodies only. The license might have a time frame that is usually one year. It is renewed after the expiry annually. One is supposed to pay the same fee on expiry.

2. Saltwater license: It is a license that allows fishermen to fish in salt water bodies only. This differs from the freshwater licenses because the salt water bodies don’t attract much fish. Most states offer it on an annual basis.

3. Shellfish and seaweed license: This license allows one to collect and acquire certain specific marine wildlife. Such things like crabs, oysters, shells, seaweeds, octopus and many others. It is also annual in nature of renewals.

4. Combo licenses: These licenses are short term lived. They are used to just like the combination licenses. They are only used on certain specific days. They should be consecutive days.

Note: there are many other minor fishing licenses apart from the above mentioned. Although these are the major ones, some states offer various minor fishing licenses.

How much does the fishing license cost?

The cost of purchasing a fishing license entirely depends on the type. The time frame and period also matters a lot. The type of fish might also have a considerable impact on the cost of these licenses. An annual freshwater fishing license costs. These are the charges of these licenses in most states although they might change slightly according to different states. The prices also differ with the residence of the fisherman. They are different if the fisherman is a resident of the state or a nonresident.

Annual Resident freshwater fishing license cost – (20-25 dollars)

Annual Resident saltwater fishing license cost – (16-20 dollars)

Annual non Resident freshwater fishing license cost – (45-48 dollars)

Annual non Resident saltwater fishing license cost – (23-27 dollars)

The other types of licenses fluctuate according to the states. The different states come up with the other types according to the demand in the region. The costs are also set according to the authorities in charge of the fishing docket.

Fishing without a license anyway?

Although it is a law in many states that anybody fishing must have a license. It is regarded as a crime if you are found fishing without a license and is punishable by law. There are a few situations where some people are exempted from purchasing a fishing license. Some states consider children of certain ages not to acquire licenses when fishing. Children mostly below the age of 16 years are exempted. Old age people who are residents are also exempted from the age of 65 years and over. Other people who might be considered are the physically and mentally disabled people of the state.

Military personnel is also considered in the special group people when it comes to fishing licenses, they might be exempted in some states. Sometimes other states only require fishing licenses in the state or public water bodies. Fishing on private waters like fish ponds might be exempted from purchasing a fishing license. Generally, a fishing license is very vital and important in most fishing escapades including sports.

Can a convicted felon purchase an out of state fishing license?

Well, most states can offer fishing licenses to convicted felons. This can happen only when they are on parole or have completed their term in jail. Most felons who are still serving time in jail cannot get these licenses. They can only get them if they are working with an agent on the outside of the jail or a fishing company.


Fishing is a noble activity that is both social and economic in nature. Whatever reason that makes you engage in it is vital. Being a felon can sometimes alter the ease of doing such activity. As long as one is secure with the fishing license, I believe they are right to engage in fishing. Everybody should have the right to fish anywhere as long the standard required procedure is met. Whether you are a felon, a resident or a nonresident, Fishing is for all.

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