The Environment Agency has successfully prosecuted Callum Copeland, 22, of White Alder, Stacey Bushes, with a total penalty of £1,234.72.
Copeland was convicted of wilfully obstructing a water bailiff, fishing without a licence and failing to state his address to a bailiff when required to do so. He was found guilty in his absence in a case held at Northampton Magistrates’ Court on 8 October 2019 following the offences at Silver Lake, Wappenham, Northamptonshire, on 5 March 2019.
The court was told that Environment Agency enforcement officers were patrolling at the lake and attempted to speak to Copeland, however after initially refusing to provide details when requested, or a valid fishing licence, he eventually provided false details.
Officers identified Copeland’s vehicle, which he confirmed belonged to him, and used the associated address to later issue him with a court summons.
Copeland did not attend court but was fined £660, ordered to pay costs of £530.72 and a victim surcharge of £44.
A spokesperson for the Environment Agency said:
“This case shows how determined we are in catching and prosecuting people who flout the laws and obstruct our officers in carrying out their duties.
“An annual fishing licence costs just £30, yet a small number of anglers continue to risk prosecution for fishing without a licence.
“Money raised from fishing licence sales is used 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.
“For those caught cheating the system, we will always prosecute.”
People caught fishing without a licence can be fined up to £2,500. Children under 13 do not need a licence. Licences for children aged between 13 and 16 are free, but a junior licence is required.
Anyone who suspects illegal fishing to be taking place should report the matter to the Environment Agency’s incident hotline, on 0800 807060. Buy a rod licence and