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Law Office of E. Michael Linscheid

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(415) 728-9982

A man fishing on a boat at sunset, enjoying the tranquil beauty of nature's colors reflecting on the water.Common Reasons For Revocation Of Fishing And Hunting License In California

Unfortunately, the Fishing Game Commission has arguably free reign to suspend or revoke licenses and permits based upon violations of the fish and game code, as well as violations of Title 14 of the California Code of Regulations. Over the course of my time representing hunters and fishers, I have frequently represented individuals facing disciplinary proceedings due to the following common violations:

Fishing In Closed Areas

Violating marine protected areas, such as marine reserves, marine sanctuaries, national parks, or wildlife refuges.

Improper Fishing Depth

Fishing at depths that are prohibited, particularly concerning species like rockfish, which have specific depth restrictions.

Proximity To Jetties

Fishing too close to public or private jetties, which have distance requirements to protect marine environments or public safety.

Taking Undersized Fish

Harvesting fish, such as crabs, lobster, rockfish, or salmon that do not meet the minimum size requirements.

Improper Cleaning Of Fish

Cleaning fish in a manner that obscures their size, making it difficult to determine if they meet legal size requirements.

Improper Record Keeping

Failure to maintain accurate and up-to-date records, including logbooks detailing fishing activities, dates, and times.

Fishing Out of Season Or In Closed Waters

Violating seasonal or location restrictions, such as fishing in enclosed waters or during prohibited seasons.

Failure To Service Traps Within Required Intervals

Neglecting to service lobster or crab traps within specified time intervals, which can impact marine ecosystems and safety.

Use Of Non-Conforming Implements

Using traps, nets, or other fishing implements that do not meet regulatory standards or specifications.


When a fisherman faces disciplinary proceedings and potential revocation or suspension of their license or permit, it’s not as though they can just file some paperwork and move on. The stakes are incredibly high.

Financial Investment

For starters, most commercial fishers have made substantial financial investments in their fisheries — thousands upon thousands of dollars worth. In California, permits alone can range from tens of thousands to close to a million dollars, depending on the type of fishery. Additionally, they have invested in boats, which can easily range from $50,000 to over a million dollars.

Income & Livelihood

Commercial fishers rely on their permits, licenses, and boats for their livelihoods. These assets generate income not only for the fishers themselves but also for their families and crew. If their permits or licenses are suspended or revoked, they face the prospect of losing a substantial portion of their income. This loss of income can jeopardize their ability to meet financial obligations, including loan payments on their permits or boats.

Operational Costs

Even during a suspension period, fishers must continue to maintain their boats, which incurs ongoing operational costs. These costs include maintenance, storage, insurance, and other expenses associated with vessel ownership. Without the ability to generate income from fishing activities, these operational costs become a significant burden.

Losing a license or permit essentially means discarding all the money invested in the fishery, triggering opportunity costs due to lost income, and accumulating debt from the inability to cover operational expenses. As such, it’s critical to take every action available to prevent this type of outcome.

Ensuring Just Representation In Administrative Hearings

We take a comprehensive approach when advocating for the rights of fishers and hunters. Our goal is to ensure they have thorough and just representation in state and federal administrative hearings. As such, we regularly carry out each of the following as part of our overall process:

Thoroughly Investigate

We conduct a comprehensive investigation into the specific circumstances surrounding the alleged violations. This involves gathering evidence, reviewing documentation, and understanding the details of each circumstance.

Review Allegations

We carefully review the allegations made by the government or regulatory agency. Understanding the nature of the allegations is crucial for building a strong defense strategy.

Conduct Interviews & Perform Questioning

We conduct interviews with relevant witnesses, including percipient witnesses and character witnesses. These interviews help us gather firsthand accounts and testimonies that can support our client’s case.

Present Evidence

We present affirmative evidence that supports our client’s position and counters the allegations brought against them. This may include documentation, photographs, expert testimony, and any other relevant evidence.


We present evidence in mitigation, highlighting our client’s conduct, character, and any mitigating factors that may influence the outcome of the hearing. This can help provide context and perspective to the alleged violations.

Prepare Testimony

We prepare our client and any witnesses for testimony during the hearing. This involves ensuring that they understand the questions they may be asked and how to effectively communicate their responses.


During the administrative hearing, we advocate vigorously on behalf of our client, presenting arguments, questioning witnesses, and challenging any evidence presented by the opposing party.

We strive to ensure that our clients receive fair treatment in administrative hearings and that their rights are protected throughout the process on their way to achieving the best possible outcome.

For more information on Fishing & Hunting Licenses In CA, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (415) 728-9982 today.

E. Michael Linscheid, Esq.

Call Now For A Personalized Confidential Consultation!
(415) 728-9982

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