On 12 July 2017 at Telford Magistrates’ Court, Ronald Manbord of Coronation Road, Bilston, and Michael Lee of Princes End, Dawley Bank, Telford, were fined for fishing without a licence following a prosecution by the Environment Agency.
Manbord was fined £300, and Lee £250. Both men, who pleaded guilty, were also ordered to pay costs of £100 and a victim surcharge of £30.
Manbord, 57, was caught fishing without a licence on 17 October 2016 at Bayliss Pool in Telford. Lee, 37, was caught on 22 January 2017 fishing on the River Severn at Ironbridge.
Andrew Eardley from the Environment Agency said:
Most anglers enjoying the sport fish legally, but there continues to be a small number of anglers who fail to buy a fishing licence. These few are cheating their fellow anglers and the future of the sport.
An annual licence costs from just £30. It seems ridiculous that anglers risk significant fines and costs, a criminal conviction and the loss of their fishing equipment for such a small fee.
Money from fishing licence sales is invested in England’s fisheries and is used to fund a wide range of projects to improve facilities for anglers, including protecting stocks from illegal fishing, pollution and disease; restoring fish stocks through re-stocking; eradicating invasive species; and fish habitat improvements. Licence money is also used to fund the Angling Trust to provide information about fishing and to encourage participation in the sport.
You need a valid Environment Agency fishing licence to fish for salmon, trout, freshwater fish, smelt or eel in England. Buying a rod licence is easy and can be done online. A licence lasts 365 days from the day you buy it.
Anyone witnessing illegal fishing incidents in progress can report it directly to the Environment Agency hotline on 0800 80 70 60. Information on illegal fishing and environmental crime can also be reported anonymously to Crime stoppers on 0800 555 111.