Over 2 days, 2 officers checked 49 people and issued 11 offence report forms (ORF) to individuals that were unable to produce a licence on the day (a 22% evasion rate).
Lesley Robertson, Environment Agency Environmental Crime Team leader said:
‘These people were all fishing in places where it is legal to fish in the close season and the fact that most had a licence with them shows their commitment to staying within the law.
‘People issued with a form will be hearing from us soon about whether further action will be taken and they may end up with a court summons and a fine up to £2,500’.
An annual rod licence for the 2014/15 season remains at 2011 prices, costing £27 for non-migratory trout and char and freshwater (coarse) fish, smelt and eels or £72 for salmon and migratory trout.
Concessionary licences, which cost £5, are available to junior anglers (aged 12-16). 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 (coarse) fish, smelt and eels) and £48 (salmon and migratory trout).
One to 8-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 dialling 0844 800 5386.
An Environment Agency spokesperson:
‘We are aware of on line third party providers who offer to buy the rod licence for you. They charge up to £20 for this service and do not purchase the licence on your behalf immediately. You could unwittingly go fishing without a licence, be liable for prosecution and pay £47 for a £27 licence’.