Fishing Without a License: A.R.S. 17-331

Fishing without a license is a crime.

Fishing Without a License: A.R.S. 17-331

Arizona is home to a great many lakes and rivers, making fishing a popular hobby among residents and visitors alike. However, Arizona requires anyone intending to fish within the state to obtain a valid fishing license. Fishing without a license is actually a criminal offense that will appear on your criminal record if convicted.

According to A.R.S. 17-331, a person may not take any wildlife in this state without a valid license or a commission approved proof of purchase.  Additionally, the person must carry the license or proof of purchase and produce it on request to any game ranger, wildlife manager, or peace officer.

Arizona defines “take” as pursuing, shooting, hunting, fishing, trapping, killing, capturing, snaring, or netting wildlife or placing or using any net or other device or trap in a manner that may result in capturing or killing wildlife.

Fishing without a license is a class 2 misdemeanor, which can result in up to four months of incarceration.

Fishing Licenses and Child Support Orders

Any person with a valid fishing license who is deemed noncompliant with a child support order by the court will have their fishing license invalidated. They will also be prohibited from applying for additional licenses. Their fishing license will not be reinstated until receipt of a certificate of compliance with a child support order.

Arizona Game and Fish Department

The Arizona Game and Fish Department provides fishing licenses. Only individuals who are blind or under the age of ten are not required to be licensed to fish. Licenses are valid for 365 from their date of purchase.

Fishing licenses can be purchased at various locations throughout the state or online.


If you have been caught fishing without a license, contact Rideout Law Group today to learn how we may be able to minimize or dismiss your charge through diversion or deferred prosecution.



With offices in Lake Havasu City and Scottsdale, our firm serves the entire state of Arizona, with a particular focus on criminal defense, family law, and juvenile cases.

Our goal is for the best outcome for your criminal case, which can include:

  • charges that are reduced or dropped.
  • top experts reviewing your case.
  • aggressive negotiations with the prosecution for plea bargains.
  • fines or probation in lieu of jail time.

At Rideout Law Group, our attorneys are able to expertly examine the evidence in your case to provide a strong strategy for argument that leads to an outcome that is most favorable to you. We have experience in all types of criminal cases for both adults and juveniles, with positive outcomes both in plea negotiations as well as jury trial settings.

Call us today for a free consultation at 480-584-3328.

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