Angler fined hundreds for fishing on lake without rod and line licence

An angler caught fishing illegally near Lichfield with an unlicensed rod and line has been ordered to pay almost £800 for his actions.

Enforcement officer
Enforcement officer

The Environment Agency successfully prosecuted Lee Whitehead, 32, who pleaded guilty to fishing illegally and to refusing to give his name and address to an agency officer.

He was caught using the equipment at Stubby Leas Carp Fishery, in Fisherwick Road, in Whittington near Lichfield on June 19.

Following the hearing, a spokesperson for the Environment Agency said: “We’re pleased how seriously the courts take these offences. Lee Whitehead has been rightly punished for his offences. He did not have a valid licence, but he was also unhelpful when questioned by our officers.

"All of the money raised from rod licence sales is used to protect and improve fish stocks and fisheries for the benefit of anglers. For those caught cheating the system, we will always prosecute.”

Whitehead, of French Avenue, Mile Oak near Tamworth, was fined £220 for each offence and ordered to pay costs of £135 and a victims' surcharge of £176 when he appeared at Northampton Magistrates Court on November 21.

The case was brought under the Salmon and Freshwater Fisheries Act 1975.

The agency said thousands of anglers are prosecuted for not having a fishing licence annually, landing fines of up to £2,500. Income from rod licence sales is used to protect and improve fish stocks and fisheries.

Enforcement is carried out year-round with the support of partners including the police and the Angling Trust, targeting known hot-spots and where illegal fishing is reported.

Any angler, aged 13 or over, fishing on a river, canal or still water needs a licence. A one-day licence is priced from £6, and an annual licence from £30, concessions are available, junior licences are free for 13s to 16s. Licences are available from gov.uk/get-a-fishing-licence or by phoning the agency on 0344 800 5386.

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