Angler without a fishing licence pleads guilty to obstructing an officer

An angler has been fined over £200 after admitting fishing without a rod licence and obstructing an Environment Agency officer at a lake in Norfolk.

Willow lake, Bodham
Willow lake, Bodham

Jayne Hinch, 56, of Pastor Ridings, Peterborough, pleaded guilty to fishing without a rod licence and obstructing a constable in the execution of his duty at Willow Lakes, Bodham in Norfolk on 18 July this year.

Hinch received a total penalty of £230, comprising £50 fine, £150 costs and a victim surcharge of £30, at Norwich Magistrates Court on 15 November.

After the hearing the Environment Agency’s Enforcement Team Leader Lesley Robertson said:

Environment Agency Fisheries Enforcement Officers regularly patrol waters across East Anglia. Our officers are deemed to be a constable for the purposes of enforcing the Salmon and freshwater Fisheries Act 1975, or any order or byelaw under it.

This case shows that anyone found fishing illegally or obstructing an Officer carrying out their duties may face prosecution and a fine.

All anglers need a valid Environment Agency rod licence. Rod licences now run 365 days from the day of purchase, regardless of when it is purchased in the year. This offers 12 full months of fishing. However, fishing without one can lead to a fine of £2,500.

Lesley added:

The money raised through the sales of rod licences is re-invested and enables us to improve all fisheries including rivers for anglers. Our officers routinely undertake licence checks and we urge anyone with information about illegal fishing activities to contact us.

Illegal fishing should be reported to the Environment Agency’s Incident Hotline on

/Public Release. View in full here.