£3k fines for anglers without licences

An Environment Agency fisheries bailiff with his badge.

An Environment Agency fisheries bailiff with his badge.

The Environment Agency has prosecuted 15 people for fishing without a rod licence in Lancaster resulting in almost £3,000 of fines.

The Fishing Enforcement Team issued the notices whilst patrollingLancaster Canal, at Wyreside Lakes Fishery and Clearwater Fisheries.

The hearings took place at Lancaster Magistrates’ Court and the 15 offenders received fines ranging from £120 to £377 – totalling £2,848.

Darren Bedworth, the Environment Agency’s Enforcement Officer, said: “Anglers who fish without a valid rod licence need to be aware that they will be caught.

“Our Enforcement Officers are out and about round the year checking rod licenses throughout Lancashire and we will not hesitate to prosecute.

“When someone doesn’t buy a rod licence they are cheating fellow anglers and themselves.

“A day licence costs as little £3.75 for non-migratory trout and coarse fishing or £8 for salmon and sea trout. For those people we have prosecuted, their fishing day has become a very expensive day out.”

“Last year across Cumbria and Lancashire over 50,000 anglers purchased a rod licence raising over a £1m in revenue all of which is reinvested by the Environment Agency into fishing and this much loved sport.”

Under current legislation anglers must always carry a rod licence when fishing or they could be prosecuted up to £2,500. A licence is available for one day, eight days or a full season.

They can be bought online, at the Post Office, or by phone on 0344 800 5386. Individuals can go fishing with a full licence as soon as it’s been paid for. Children under 12 don’t need a licence.

Last year 2,574 licences were checked by EA fisheries enforcement teams resulting in 154 prosecutions with fines totalling £22,257 in Cumbria and Lancashire.

Nationally £21 million of rod licence money benefited angling including restocking England’s rivers with 452,220 coarse fish, such as chub and barbel, from its fish farm at Calverton, Nottinghamshire and funds a wide range of projects to improve facilities for anglers and securing the future of this sport.

Further information – including a full list of costs, guidance on regulations and the different types of rod licence available can be found online here: https://www.gov.uk/topic/environmental-management/fisheries-rod-licensing