Christopher Lott, of Church Close, Buxton, Norfolk, was caught fishing without a licence on 13 October 2021 at Belaugh on the River Bure, Wroxham in Norfolk.

Barrie Franklin, of Notykin Street, Norwich, was caught fishing without a licence on 7 October 2021 on the River Bure at Wroxham Broad, Wroxham, Norfolk.

Both cases were heard at Hastings Magistrates’ Court where Lott and Franklin pleaded guilty. The court fined them both £146 and imposed a £34 victim surcharge and £65 each in costs. Both these penalties total £490, this is nearly 11 times more than the current price of a £45 fishing licence.*

Ben Cole, of Northfield Crescent, Wells-next-the-sea, Norfolk, was also caught fishing without a licence on 13 October 2021 at Catch 22 in Lyng, Norfolk.

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.

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.

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.

For more information or to buy a fishing licence visit the GOV.UK website or call the Environment Agency on 0344 800 5386. Alternatively, you can purchase a licence from your local Post Office branch.

The Environment Agency carries out enforcement work all year round and is supported by police forces and the Angling Trust. Fisheries enforcement work is intelligence-led, targeting known hot-spots and where illegal fishing is reported.

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

Christopher Lott, Barrie Franklin and Ben Cole pleaded guilty to breaching Section 27(1)(a) of the Salmon and Freshwater Fisheries Act 1975. They were sentenced at Hastings Magistrates’ Court on 29 April.

*£45 is the cost of a 12-month trout and coarse 3-rod fishing licence.

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    Norfolk men fined over £600 after fishing illegally

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