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tenpoundlunker 11-26-2018 12:20 PM

Expired fishing license fine
So I have a stupid question for you guys. I fished Silver Creek the other day, and got popped for an expired fishing license that expires a couple months ago. I have lived here 30 years and always had a valid fishing license. Well my dumb***** didn't realize it expired in September. I was so used to them being good for the whole year that I spaced it. Anyways got a ticket. I literally have been checked twice in 30 years here. Does anyone know what kind of fine that carries? Or if they can be forgiving on that?

SJDrifli 11-26-2018 12:45 PM

Ken, it can't hurt to explain that to the judge but unfortunately it has been a year from purchase law for a couple years so the judge may not be sympathetic, but can't hurt to lay it on thick. Not sure what the fine is but guessing a c-note. Sorry bro.

tenpoundlunker 11-26-2018 12:57 PM

Thanks Paul. It's my own dumb fault but I'm hoping they can have some pity on me. I'll just explain I have an infant at home and I have baby brain.:)

SJDrifli 11-26-2018 01:08 PM

That won't hurt your cause. They may be able to check computer for past purchases. Good luck and let me know how it goes. I really don't want to fish with a convicted fishing hooligan 😉

david vaughn 11-27-2018 07:16 AM


Originally Posted by tenpoundlunker (Post 172733)
Does anyone know what kind of fine that carries? Or if they can be forgiving on that?

I would suggest calling the Court and sharing the ARS section you were cited for, and ask what the possible fine(s) might be. One never knows, it could be dismissed with a stern look/lecture from the Judge. I would highly recommend you purchase a new license to show the Court you do follow the law, just in case.

aztightlines 11-27-2018 08:44 AM

How about exerting your "white privilege" and throwing yourself on the Mercy of the Court?

lakelady 11-27-2018 12:55 PM


Originally Posted by aztightlines (Post 172739)
How about exerting your "white privilege" and throwing yourself on the Mercy of the Court?

Why is white privilege in quotes?

SJDrifli 11-27-2018 01:26 PM

I'm guessing because it was a joke.

tenpoundlunker 11-27-2018 04:34 PM

I purchased a new license right there on the spot in front of the game and fish officer. I hoped after I explained myself he would understand, but to no avail. I get a kick out of the "white privilege" thing. I don't think there is such a thing when it comes to the courts wanting money$$$$$. The only color is green. :ROFL:

aztightlines 11-27-2018 09:20 PM

That was pretty much the joke...

Paul knows me; I am waiting to exert my privilege with the Border Patrol at the checkpoints down south...will let you know how it goes.

Bucksnort 11-27-2018 09:34 PM

aztighlines - too funny.

Finally, someone on this forum gets a joke. A couple of years ago, I pulled a prank/joke on one of the members and you would have thought I... well, never mind.

PositiveRate 12-20-2018 12:45 PM

There is a new AZGF officer in that area and I bet this is him. He likes to fish in plain clothes and then go change into uniform and approach people.

He got my wife over Labor Day weekend. I had a current license, my son is under 10 and I simply forgot to get one for my wife. I offered to buy her one right there as a common sense solution to an honest mistake. It wasn’t on her radar at all and it should have been on mine as I tend to manage the details on fishing outings.

Nope. It was like talking to a wall.

Long story short, my wife went down the rabbit hole for my mistake and had to jump through a bunch of hoops just to get a phone appearance. She plead no contest.

Finally we get to the phone call with judge, he asked “did you buy a license”. She said “yes, the same day and it was an honest oversight”. He said send me a copy of the license. No fine. Case it never happened because she admitted freely it was a mistake and corrected it in timely fashion. All that for a 2 minute phone call and a common sense remedy.

Soooooo stupid to waste court resources and time for stuff like that where the “violation” is an non-intentional oversight and taking it any farther becomes a common sense “violation”.

Since then, I’ve twice seen that same officer at silver creek playing his sting game watching people fish, then approaching them.

Check your license dates or suffer the wrath of the hall monitor. I bet the judge(s) up there will eventually tell him to stop wasting their time before too long.

stoneflynut 12-20-2018 02:01 PM

I get what you're saying but remember law enforcement officers enforce the law while judges judge. It is not the officers discretion to judge offenders, however they often provide statements to the judge recommending leniency or whatever.

joe 12-20-2018 04:32 PM

My fishing license was checked recently by an AZGF officer wearing a bullet proof vest. That should tell anyone about the type of a-holes that are fishing, that includes me.

stoneflynut 12-20-2018 05:40 PM

Can't blame them...its wide open country around most lakes.

Sasquatch 12-21-2018 10:58 AM

Being a family man, if my job required a sidearm I would wear a vest.

PositiveRate; an honest oversight is probably the number one excuse whether a lie or not. You got lucky, treated fairly and still complain. Can you say that had she not got caught you would have bought a license after the fact anyway? Not many would.

Game Warden fishing in civies then changing to uniform to check licenses is a little over the top. Should ask to see their license.

PositiveRate 12-21-2018 09:40 PM

It is what it is and it has been handled.

In my opinion, it was an honest mistake by me on her behalf and we were almost comically apologetic and willing to fix the oversight on the spot. Common sense dictated a different experience than we had. But that is my opinion and you know what they say about opinions...some sort of similarity to a body part we all have.

Tenpoundlunker started the thread with a very similar incident with presumably the same officer.

To answer his process and fine question more directly. You call the court with your citation number and they will send you paperwork. If you're local, you can appear in person. If you live in the valley or some distance away, you can petition the court for a phone appearance only if you are pleading guilty or no contest. You will also have to get fingerprinted at a local station and send those in with your paperwork. They will then set up a phone call with the judge. That's where you say I'm sorry, I didn't check the date before I left the house and renewed the license later that day (if that's what happened). At that point, you'll probably get no fine, just send a copy of the new license and it ends there. Otherwise, we read the fines can be $150-700ish depending on the severity of the circumstances and it technically is a class II misdemeanor...

So, for anyone else, be aware of and mind the silver creek hall monitor(s) and don't assume an honest mistake will be treated with grace and common sense at the officer level. Similarly, be aware that the nice guy you chatted with about what's working today and where the fish are holding may come back later in a different outfit.

Really, I'm not bitter about this. I mean, my wife says I am and I need to let it there's that. She didn't even mind when he told her she looked really young for her age when he saw her birth date on her driver's license. Even my 8 yr old son flagged that one and had the sense to wait to ask about it until the car ride home.

LOL. I think that's all i have to say on the matter. Good luck Tenpoundlunker. It should be nothing beyond the hoops. Sorry you have to deal with this too. :beer:

M Lopez 12-22-2018 02:30 AM

Sorry to hear about your wife's ticket PositiveRate. The G&F officers do have some level of discretion on whether or not to issue a ticket, but here's a couple things to consider from the officer's perspective.

One, Silver Creek has had a long history of violations, some including idiots loading up a truck with trout straight out of the hatchery raceway, but most include fishing in closed areas, over limits during the summer season (people getting a limit in the morning and coming back for another limit in the afternoon), and fishing without a license. In short, the violations have been chronic at Silver Creek and being strict on all violations is probably part of cleaning up the bigger issues there. Word gets out that violations are getting citations, which will result in fewer intentional violations, which in the end will result in a better fishery. Your result might have been different if it had been at a different water, not necessarily because it might be a different officer, just that it would likely be a place with fewer violations that need cleaning up (and a stricter approach).

Second, if officers let everyone off the hook if they immediately purchase a license after getting caught, that word gets out too. And before you know it, you'll have people intentionally fishing without a license knowing they only have to buy one if they get caught. Yes, that stuff happens and is why G&F doesn't use that approach regularly.

I know this probably won't make you feel any better about the ticket, but there is likely a reason for the strict approach at Silver Creek. On the bright side, you'll never forget the license again.

As for the licenses expiring at weird times because of the 365 day thing, I have heard a lot of people say that its caught them off guard. That's unfortunate because it can lead to an unintentional violation. One way that I deal with that is to purchase my license and for every member of my family at the end of the calendar year, giving them as stocking stuffers. Then I know to do that every year. However, that may not be convenient for everyone, which is why the 365 day license was developed in the first place (and overall is a good thing). An idea I thought might help is if the G&F could email license holders when their license is about to expire and prompt them to renew. That could work if it could be an automated process. Probably wouldn't fly if they had to be sent out by person.

Just some thoughts.

Sasquatch 12-22-2018 01:04 PM


Originally Posted by M Lopez (Post 172808)
One, Silver Creek has had a long history of violations, some including idiots loading up a truck with trout straight out of the hatchery raceway,

Unreal. Psst, hey buddy, wanna buy a fish?

BunsbertMontcroffEsq 12-22-2018 02:01 PM


Originally Posted by M Lopez (Post 172808)

Thanks for the perspective on this. I sympathize with folks who have made honest mistakes, Lord knows I've made plenty.

But Silver Creek does everything it can to remind anglers to stay current. I've only been once, but was struck by the number of signs, the sign-in/sign-out book, and other reminders (incl. the G&F facility and trucks everywhere) of the rules.

Flyrn 12-26-2018 11:17 AM

So just to throw a little bit of a twist on this situation. We were fishing the upper pools, the officer came up and chatted with tenpound and I for a LONG time. I was actually concerned because I wasn't sure my license was on me and maybe in the truck. During our talk I mentioned there were 2 people below fishing big balls of power bait. (it is no bait c&r time) He said... well if it was an elk during a hunt then we (assuming game and fish) would be all over it and investigate it, but it is just a fish. After the ticket was given and tenpound bought the license right then (mind you this is after 30 years of licenses... not like he is trying to skate on a fee) this officer stayed and talked to another officer for almost 2 hours. Never did leave to check the bait fishermen...

joe 12-26-2018 05:25 PM

On this website since 2006, I have said do things right the first time.

tenpoundlunker 12-27-2018 10:04 AM

Well I was able to get out of ticket by showing the judge that I had purchased it right there at the stream. It's my fault and I know the officer is just doing his job, but sometimes instead of just ticketing everyone a little discrepancy should be used. Like Chris said, he did nothing to go down river where people were actively violating the law, and instead chose to stand around and talk to hatchery guy for a couple hours. That's what annoyed me more than anything.

stoneflynut 12-29-2018 10:11 AM

"It's my fault and I know the officer is just doing his job, but ......."

Joe's correct, do it right the first time and there'll be no buts about it.

Ozark Trout 01-03-2019 10:07 AM

well if it was an elk during a hunt then we (assuming game and fish) would be all over it and investigate it, but it is just a fish.

Then G&F gets all pissy about somebody shooting a javelina or other issue. Did they ever think the person shooting the javelina might have started breaking rules by "just fish" and since nothing was ever done about that progress on? If it's a law --enforce it-- if not -- remove it

DrLogik 01-03-2019 11:09 AM

I have lived in States where fish were treated with less importance than game animals and other States where they were treated equally. In the States where they were treated equally most fishers and hunters were anal about renewing their license because there were no "breaks" given for violations.

My family didn't live in AZ long enough to get a sense on how AZ treats fish versus game animals. If fish are looked upon a just "fish" then there's a problem that needs to be fixed. Consistency in applying the law is critical. I agree with Ozark on this point.

This doesn't help the original poster but my guess is he won't forget his license renewal in the future.

I have caught myself out fishing a couple of times with an expired license but luckily was not checked either time. I am anal about it now because where I live if you kill a fish illegally you "Pay the Man".

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