Men fined more than £600 for fishing illegally

An Environment Agency enforcement officer on patrol near a river.

An Environment Agency enforcement officer on patrol near a river. - Credit: Environment Agency

Three Norfolk men have been fined more than £600 after fishing illegally.

Christopher Lott, of Church Close in Buxton, was caught fishing without a licence on October 13 last year at Belaugh on the River Bure in Wroxham.

Barrie Franklin, of Notykin Street in Norwich, was caught fishing without a licence on October 7 on the River Bure at Wroxham Broad.

Both cases were heard at Hastings Magistrates' Court on April 29. The men pleaded guilty.

A small cabin cruiser on the River Bure, near Wroxham,passes the entrance to Bridge Broad.

A small cabin cruiser on the River Bure, near Wroxham, passes the entrance to Bridge Broad. - Credit: Steve Bramall/Getty Images/iStockphoto

The court fined them both £146 and imposed a £34 victim surcharge and £65 each in costs.

In total the penalties amounted of £490 - almost 11 times more than the current price of a £45 fishing licence. 

Ben Cole, of Northfield Crescent in Wells-next-the-Sea, was also caught fishing without a licence on October 13 at Catch 22 in Lyng.

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The case was heard at Hastings Magistrates Court where Cole pleaded guilty. The court fined the 31-year-old £80 and imposed a £34 victim surcharge and £65 in costs

Enforcement team leader for the Environment Agency, 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.

Ms Robertson added: "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 and for wildlife."

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 one-day licence costs from just £6, and an annual licence costs at least £30. Concessions are available. Junior licences are free for 13- to 16-year-olds.

The Environment Agency carries out enforcement work all year round and is supported by police forces and the Angling Trust.

Anyone with information about illegal fishing activities should report it to the incident hotline number 0800 807060. You can also report it to Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.