Press release

Illegal angler catches £487 penalty

On the 28 September 2016, Lloyd Sims of Ashbourne Road, Rocester appeared at Stafford Magistrates’ Court charged with fisheries offences.

Environment Agency enforcement officer looking for illegal fishing activity
Environment Agency enforcement officer looking for illegal fishing activity

He was fined £330 for fishing without a rod licence and for fishing during freshwater close season, with costs of £127 and a victim surcharge of £30.

Magistrates heard that on the 9 May 2016, an Environment Agency enforcement officer found Mr Sims fishing on the River Dove. A valid rod licence is required to fish all waters in England. Mr Sims was not able to produce a valid rod licence and was reported for that offence. Mr Simms was also reported for fishing on a river during close season. Close season seeks to protect fish during their breeding season, helping to increase fish stocks and secure angling for the future.

Mick Hyde, Environment Agency Enforcement said:

Across the country, we’re continuing to see similar fines handed out to anglers fishing illegally. Having to pay over £400 for a day of fishing just doesn’t make sense; especially when the cost of an annual licence is as little as £27. We are delighted that these fines send such a clear message to rod licence cheats – fishing without a licence is not worth the risk.

Every year, nearly 1 million anglers fish legally, respecting each other and the sport. The money they pay to buy a licence supports fish, fisheries and fishing and protects the future of the sport. A small number of anglers refuse to buy a licence, cheating the sport and their fellow anglers.

For the minority who flout the rules, the most common offence is fishing without a valid licence; which could land you with a fine of up to £2,500 and a criminal record. Last year the Environment Agency checked more than 62,000 rod licences and prosecuted more than 1,900 anglers for rod and line offences resulting in fines and costs in excess of £500,000.

Any angler aged 12 or over, fishing on a river, canal or still water needs a licence. A full rod licence costs from just £27 (concessions available). You can buy your rod licence online from the Post Office, at your local Post Office or by phoning 0344 800 5386.

Money from rod 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 restocking, eradicate invasive species, and fish habitat improvements. Rod licence money is also used to fund the Angling Trust to provide information about fishing and to encourage participation in the sport.

To help crack down on unlicenced fishing the Environment Agency urges anyone to report illegal activity by calling the their 24 hour Incident Hotline on 0800 80 70 60 or anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Published 30 September 2016