Eight anglers caught fishing illegally in Norfolk waters have been fined by Kings Lynn Magistrates’ Court.
They were caught without rod licences in an Environment Agency blitz of Norfolk waters. On Thursday 3 October were fined between £60 and £75 and told to pay a victim surcharge of £20. Most were also ordered to pay £127 costs.
Lesley Robertson, Environmental Crime Team Leader, said: “Our Fisheries Enforcement Officers patrol the watercourses all year round, including holidays and weekends.
“We were pleased to see that most anglers had valid rod licences, as all the money the Environment Agency receives from sales is spent improving fisheries.
“Those who were breaking the rules were caught and now their cases have been brought in front of the court.
“Those who avoid fishing legally with a rod licence will be caught. Anglers should ensure they are properly licensed before going out again to enjoy this worthwhile hobby.”
The offences were in breach of Section 27(1)(A) the Salmon and Freshwater Fisheries Act 1975.
Four of the anglers entered a guilty plea;
- Christian Lanchester of Vancouver Avenue, Kings Lynn was found fishing illegally on 17 May at Wissington Sugar Beet Pit, Wereham. He was fined £75 but was not asked to pay costs.
- Stephen Robinson of Horning Road, Hoveton was also found fishing illegally on 26 May at the same fishery and failed to state his name and address to an Environment Agency bailiff (also known as a Fisheries Enforcement Officer). He was fined £60.
- Jack Brandish of Marland Road, Taverham was found fishing illegally on the same day at Reepham Fishery. He was fined £60.
- The following weekend, Lloyd John Cannell of Harwood Road, Norwich was found fishing illegally on 02 June 2013 at the Catch 22 Fishing Centre, Lyng. He was fined £60.
The other four did not enter a plea but the charges were proved in absence;
- Mark Large of Redwing Drive, Billericay was found fishing illegally on 25 May at Oakwood Park Lakes, Hockwold. He was fined £75.
- Joshua Atkin of Marland Road, Taverham, Norwich was found fishing illegally on 26 May at Reepham Fishery. He was fined £60.
- On the same day, Matthew Browse of Cadge Road, Norwich was also found fishing illegally at Reepham Fishery and was fined £75.
- Alex Davies of Barrett Road, Norwich was also found at the Catch 22 Fishing Centre, Lyng on 2 June. He was fined £75.
An annual rod licence for the 2012/13 season remains at 2011 prices, costing £27 for non-migratory trout and char and freshwater fish and eels or £72 for salmon and migratory trout.
Concessionary licences, which cost £5, are available to juvenile anglers (aged 12-17). Anglers under 12 do not require a licence.
Anglers over 65 and anyone with a Blue Badge parking concession or in receipt of Disability Living Allowance also pays the concessionary adult rate of £18 (non-migratory trout and char and freshwater fish and eels) and £48 (salmon and migratory trout).
One to eight-day licences for occasional anglers are also available for £3.75 and £10 (non-migratory trout and char and freshwater fish and eels) or £8 and £23 (salmon and migratory trout).
Licences may be bought from post offices, via the Environment Agency website (www.environment-agency.gov.uk/fish) or by dialing 0844 800 5386. Alternatively, they can be obtained from any Post Office or via the internet at www.environment-agency.gov.uk/rodlicence