On 7 November 2006 two Worcestershire men were found guilty of fishing for coarse fish during the annual close season at Hereford Magistrates Court.


Thomas Palmer (18) of Landsdowne Road, Worcester was fined £300 and ordered to pay £70 in costs, Robert Speed (18) from Erdiston, Tenbury Wells was fined £200 and ordered to pay £70 in costs.


The court was told that both men were spotted by an Environment Agency Water Bailiff fishing on the River Teme at Lindridge near Tenbury Wells in May 2006, several weeks before the coarse fishing season started.


When approached by the Water Bailiff both men were unable to produce valid rod licences.


The coarse fish close season runs from 15th March to 15th June inclusive and applies to all rivers, streams and drains in England and Wales, but does not apply to most still waters or canals. The purpose of the statutory close season is to protect fisheries from the impact of angling during the breading season.


Andy Roberts, an Environment Agency Fisheries Technical Officer said:


“The close season for fishing on rivers is designed to protect fish during breeding times. Fish can be easily damaged when they are spawning and fishing during the close season may affect fish stocks.”


“We have a programme of targeting all areas of our fisheries enforcement work to make sure that those who may be tempted to break the law are caught and do not ruin the sport for the vast majority of law abiding anglers.”