The Environment Agency is reminding anglers of the importance of having a rod licence after two men were fined for fishing illegally in separate offences.
They were caught during targeted patrols on the River Derwent in Gateshead by Environment Agency Fisheries Enforcement Officers
On 28 March this year, Kyle Taylor-Allen, 30, of The Crescent, Dunston, Gateshead, was found coarse fishing at Swalwell without a licence.
He was also fishing during the close season, which is prohibited, and using illegal bait.
He was fined a total of £770, ordered to pay costs of £127 and a victim surcharge or £30.
On 13 April this year, Peter Blackett, 53, of Waterbeach Place, Newcastle, was found fishing without a licence at Rowlands Gill.
He was also fishing during close season, using an illegal bait and he had taken and killed a fish while fishing without the landowner’s permission, an offence under the Theft Act. He was fined a total of £990, ordered to pay costs of £127 and a victim surcharge of £40.
The offences were all proved in absence at Gateshead Magistrates’ Court on 3 July.
‘It’s vital anglers abide by the law’
Fisheries Enforcement Officer David Shears said: “It’s vital that anglers abide by the law to protect the future of the sport and the quality of our rivers and fisheries.
“We work closely with our partners at the police, angling clubs and the Angling Trust to identify where illegal fishing might be taking place.
“Our fisheries enforcement officers work hard to target those people flouting the law and we won’t hesitate to take action.
“Illegal fishing can be more costly that you think and hopefully this will act as a deterrent for any angler thinking of cheating the system.”
The close season started on 15 March and runs for three months, preventing fishing for coarse fish to give the fish a chance to breed.
All income from rod licence sales is used to fund Environment Agency work to protect and improve fish stocks and fisheries, including improving habitats for fish and facilities for anglers, tackling illegal fishing and working with partners to encourage people to give fishing a go.