On 30 March 2007, Keiron Moss (24) of Anson Road, West Bromwich, West Midlands, was found guilty in his absence by Worcester Magistrates Court of using prohibited hooks and bait during the coarse fishing close season. He was fined a total of £150 and asked to pay £150 costs.

The court heard that in June 2006 the Environment Agency mounted boat patrols of the Rivers Severn and Avon, following reports of illegal fishing during the coarse fish close season.

On the 10 June 2006, Environment Agency Fisheries and Recreation Officers witnessed Keiron Moss fishing on the River Severn at Upton upon Severn. Mr Moss informed the officers that he was fishing for eels, which is permitted during the coarse fishing close season. When asked to reel in his lines, the two rods that were in use had small hooks, size 12-14 baited with maggots, which are not permitted in the close season.

Speaking after the case, John Andrews, Fisheries and Recreation Technical Officer said: “People think they can get away with close season fishing because they are out of sight of a road or path. We see a few surprised faces when anglers see us in the boat. The close season gives river life a chance to recover in the spring. Nowadays, there are plenty of opportunities for people to fish year round on canals and still-waters, so there is no excuse”.

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