More than 500 cases of fishing without a valid rod licence were brought in front of the courts between July and September this year by the Environment Agency; with 99% 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 £37,000 and charged them an additional £33,000 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. The money raised through rod licence sales; some £19m, is invested directly in fisheries work that benefits all anglers, including saving tens of thousands of fish from pollution incidents.


“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.”


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.


Media enquiries: 020 7863 8710 (five lines), or outside normal office hours, please contact the National Duty Press Officer on 07798 882 092


Note to regions: Breakdown of prosecutions figures by region shown below. Excel attached.

Region  Prosecutions                         Total fines         Total costs

Anglian 134                                         £10,037               £9,230

Midlands           46                                £3,247              £2,695

North East        54                                 £2,017              £2,760

North West        37                                 £2,790              £2,275

Southern           54                                 £3,640              £3,000

South West       32                                 £2,359              £2,095

Thames            126                                £9,210              £7,980

Wales               52                                 £4,203              £3,430