3 anglers fined just under £1,000 for fishing illegally in Norfolk

Gordon West, of Benfleet, Essex, was caught fishing without a licence on 23 November 2021 at Martham Pits, Norfolk. John Ellingham, of Peterborough, Cambridgeshire, was caught fishing during the close season on 1 May 2022 on the River Bure near Wroxham, Norfolk. Sam Reynolds, of Bacton, Norfolk, was caught fishing without a licence and having left 2 rods unattended on 5 April 2022 at Coston Carp Lakes, Coston, Norfolk.

All 3 cases were heard at Hastings Magistrates Court. The court fined West £220 and Reynolds £197 and ordered them both to pay a £34 victim surcharge and £135 in costs. Ellingham was fined £138 and ordered to pay a £34 victim surcharge and £65 costs. All 3 fines total £992 – this is 22 times more than the current price of a £45 fishing licence.*

Enforcement Team Leader, Lesley Robertson, said:

These cases show we pursue offenders through the courts and won’t hesitate to take enforcement action where anglers break rules. Anyone found fishing illegally may face prosecution and a fine of up to £2,500.

The close season is in place to allow an uninterrupted spawning period and helps to protect vulnerable species. It also provides an opportunity for the Environment Agency and partners to carry out projects up and down the country to further enhance habitats vital for improving fish spawning.

All anglers need a valid Environment Agency fishing licence. The money raised through the sales of fishing licences is re-invested and enables us to improve all fisheries, including rivers, for anglers.

Our fisheries enforcement officers routinely undertake licence checks, and we urge anyone with information about illegal fishing to contact us on 0800 807060.

Licences now run 365 days from the day of purchase offering 12 full months of fishing.

Any angler aged 13 or over, fishing on a river, canal or still water needs a licence. A 1-day licence costs from just £6, and an annual licence costs from just £30. Concessions are available. Junior licences are free for 13 to 16 year-olds.

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