Two men from Nottinghamshire have been found guilty of fishing illegally on separate occasions earlier this year.
Their cases were brought by the Environment Agency to Northampton Magistrates Court on Monday 25 September.
Scott Foulds, 21, from Worksop, was found guilty in absence of fishing without a licence at Shireoaks, Worksop on 25 February 2023. He was ordered to pay a total penalty of £443. The penalty includes a fine of £220, costs of £135 and a victim surcharge of £88.
In a separate case, George Hofman, 32 of Farndon, Newark was found guilty in absence of fishing without a licence at Farndon – River Trent, Newark on 29 May 2023. In addition, he was proved guilty of fishing in the close season. He was ordered to pay fines of £220 for each offence, £135 costs, and a victim surcharge of £176, to make a total penalty of £751.
An annual fishing licence currently costs from £33.
Following the verdict, the East Midlands Fisheries Enforcement Team Leader at the Environment Agency, said:
“We hope the penalties the illegal anglers have received will act as a deterrent to anyone who is thinking of breaking the laws and byelaws we have in place across England.
“Fishing illegally can incur a fine of up to £2,500 and offenders can also have their fishing equipment seized. We inspect rod licences 24/7, seven days a week to check on cases of illegal fishing and for those caught cheating the system, we will always prosecute.
“Illegal fishing undermines the Environment Agency’s efforts to protect fish stocks and make fishing sustainable. Money raised from fishing licence sales is used to protect and improve fish stocks and fisheries for the benefit of legal anglers.”
Any angler aged 13 or over, fishing on a river, canal or still water needs a licence to fish. A 1-day licence costs from just £6.60, and an annual licence costs from £33 (concessions available). Junior licences are free for 13 – 16-year-olds. Licences are available from www.gov.uk/get-a-fishing-licence or by calling the Environment Agency on 0344 800 5386 between 8am and 6pm, Monday to Friday.