Anglers have been handed out nearly £8,000 in fines and costs this week in a series of cases brought before magistrates.
Cases brought by the Environment Agency against 11 people were proved in their absence by Northampton magistrates on Monday.
The largest bill for fines and costs was handed out to Christopher Downing, 29, of Lucknow Road, Willenhall, who was charged with fishing without a licence and failing to state his name and address when required to do so by a fisheries bailiff at Lunt Pool, Bilston, on 24 July last year. He was fined a total of £880 and ordered to pay costs and victim surcharge totalling £193.47.
Four people were each fined £440 and ordered to pay costs and victim surcharge totalling £171.47 for fishing without a licence at Baden Hall Fishery, Eccleshall. They are: Jobe Cresswell, 22, of Hobs Road, Wednesbury, Jack Capper, 20, of Brookland Cottages, Colclough Lane, Stoke-on-Trent, Gary Traynor, 34, of Greenside, Yarnfield and Callum Mcmanus, 23, of Richards Street, Wednesbury. All of the offences took place on 22 July, 2018.
Three people were each fined £440 and ordered to pay costs and victim surcharge totalling £161.47 for fishing without a licence at Cudmore Fisheries, Whitmore, also on 22 July, 2018. They are: John Short, 55, of Lunn Avenue, Manchester, Raymond Young, 34, of Hurstbourne Avenue, Manchester, and Conor Thompson, 21, of Ripon Close, Liverpool.
Adrian Statham, 27, of Park Lane, Madeley, Telford, and 37-year-old Jamie Falconer of Hayward Avenue, Donnington, Telford, were both charged with fishing without a licence and leaving a rod and line with bait or hook in the water unattended at Middle Pool, Telford, on 18 August last year. Statham was fined a total of £660, plus costs and victim surcharge totalling £171.47 and Falconer was fined £440 and ordered to pay costs and victim surcharge totalling £157.47.
Kenny Wilkes, 32, of Bassett Road, Wednesbury, was fined £440 and ordered to pay costs and victim surcharge totalling £171.47, for fishing without a licence on the Tame Valley Canal in Wednesbury, on 20 July 2018.
In addition, magistrates also fined Adam Parry, 38, of Hampden Close, Brierley Hill, a total of £400, plus costs and victim surcharge totalling £157.47 after he submitted a plea of guilty to offences committed on 9 August 2018. He was charged with fishing without a licence on the River Severn at Holt Fleet and with failing to give his name and address when required to do so by a bailiff.
A spokesperson from the Environment Agency said:
An annual fishing licence costs just £30, yet a small number of anglers continue to flout the law and risk prosecution for fishing without a licence and breaching byelaws in place to protect fish stocks.
It’s important anglers have a licence before fishing; the money from licences is invested into England’s fisheries and rivers; improving the sport of angling. Anglers should also ensure that they are familiar with our byelaws, which are available on the Environment Agency web pages.
Money from fishing licence sales is invested in England’s fisheries and is used to fund a wide range of projects to improve facilities for anglers including; protecting stocks from illegal fishing, pollution and disease, restoring fish stocks through re-stocking, eradicating invasive species and fish habitat improvements. Fishing licence money is also used to fund the Angling Trust to provide information about fishing, to encourage participation in the sport and to manage a voluntary bailiff scheme.