What Are Some of the Penalties for Fishing Without a License?

Penalties for fishing without a license varies from state to state; in Massachusetts penalties include fines between $50 and $100, up to 30 days incarceration or both, as of 2015. State law also assesses a $5 penalty per fish and $2,000 for an endangered species, states the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Iowa’s court system imposes penalties to which the violator must reimburse the state $15 for each fish and $1,000 for endangered species, according to the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.

Penalties for fishing without a license in Texas include fines up to $10,000, up to one year in prison, restitution up to $2,000 per fish and revocation of licenses for up to five years explains Texas Parks and Wildlife. In some circumstances, the states consider violations as felony offenses. For example, Texas laws state that violation of fish and wildlife laws carries fines for Class C felonies, fines plus jail for Class B felonies, and fines plus prison for Class A felonies.

The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission says that the base fine for fishing without a license is $75. It adds an amount equal to twice the cost of the appropriate fishing license to the base fine. The court may also sentence the violator to pay $20 per fish taken illegally.