More than 1,200 cases of illegal fishing were brought in front of the courts between April and June this year by the Environment Agency; with 98% of cases resulting in fines, costs and formal cautions.


“Fishing for salmon, trout, freshwater fish and eels in England and Wales requires a licence from the Environment Agency. Failure to have a licence is an offence, as is fishing in the close season. Those caught fishing illegally face tough penalties, including fines of up to £2,500 and a ban from fishing. This time around the courts fined the illegal anglers a total of more than £82,000 and charged them an additional £63,000 in costs,” explained Environment Agency Head of Fisheries Dafydd Evans.


“The protection of vulnerable fish stocks and increasing fishing participation are among the Environment Agency’s key environmental objectives. To help us to achieve them we need to target poaching and rod licence evasion to protect the primary income stream of rod licence sales. Fisheries Enforcement Officers will continue to patrol waterways targeting illegal fishing activity.


“Some anglers believe a licence is valid for 12 months from the date of purchase. This is not the case. All rod licences expire on March 31. So, if you have taken a break from fishing to watch the World Cup remember to check your licence is valid before going back to the riverbank.”


Buying a licence couldn’t be easier – there are around 15,000 Post Offices and other outlets which sell them direct; and for a small additional charge they can be purchased over the phone (0870 1662662) or from our web site – any time, day or night.


Region  Prosecutions                            Total fines        Total costs

Anglian             180                               £12,433           £10,264

Midlands           93                                £6,072              £6,115

North East        168                               £9,449              £10,565

North West        171                               £11,039           £10,446

Southern           106                               £8,520              £6,890

South West       91                                 £6,667              £5,625

Thames             330                                £25,809           £21,175