Angler fined £850 for fishing without a rod licence

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An angler was caught hook line and sinker when he went fishing without a rod licence.

Peter Ashley, of Egmanton Road, Meden Vale, was prosecuted after an Environment Agency inspector reeled him in for fishing illegally.

Mansfield Magistrates’ Court heard that on May 30, an Environment Agency enforcement officer found 47-year old Ashley fishing at Langwith Lodge Lakes, Nether Langwith.

A valid rod licence is required to fish all waters in England. He was not able to produce a valid rod licence and was reported for the offence.

Ashley was fined £853

Peter Haslock, of the Environment Agency, said: “The majority of anglers fish legally and purchase a rod licence.

“We invest the money from rod licences back into fisheries improvements, fish stocks and fishing – this is essential for the future of the sport.

“The minority of anglers that fail to buy a rod licence are cheating their fellow anglers and the future of the sport.

“In addition, rod licence cheats risk a criminal conviction, a significant fine and could lose their fishing equipment.”

A valid Environment Agency rod licence is needed if you are aged 12 or over and fish for salmon, trout, freshwater fish, smelt or eel in England.

During 2015-16, the Environment Agency checked more than 62,000 rod licences and prosecuted more than 1,900 anglers for rod and line offences resulting in fines and costs in excess of £500,000.

Anyone witnessing illegal fishing incidents in progress can report it directly to the Environment Agency hotline on 0800 807060.

Information on illegal fishing and environmental crime can also be reported anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.