Leicestershire man bags massive fishing fine

Leicestershire man bags massive fishing fine

If you are a course angler then you will often have to produce your rod license and ticket to fish that venue when asked to do so by a bailiff, but it is rare that we read of a large fine being handed out by the Environment Agency.

A man from Leicestershire though has been handed a whopping £600 fine after being found guilty of fishing without a licence in 2018.

The case was brought before the Northampton Magistrates Court on the 18th February 2019 where Michael Burton, who lives in Owen Street, Coalville was proved as ‘guilty in absense’ and was ordered to pay a collective total of £611.47. The price of an annual course fishing license would have cost the angler only £30.00 for the year.

After the verdict was given, the Fisheries Enforcement Officer for the Environment Agency, James Anderson, said the following:

“The case shows how seriously the courts take these offences and acts as a reminder to anglers of the importance of having a rod licence. We hope it will provide a deterrent to any angler who is thinking of fishing without a licence. All of the money raised from rod licence sales is used to protect and improve fish stocks and fisheries, benefitting anglers and, for those caught cheating the system, we will always prosecute.”
James Anderson
Fisheries Enforcement Officer, Environment Agency

What happens with the fishing license money?

All funds raised from the sales of freshwater fishing licenses are used to fund the fantastic work that the Environment Agency do to protect and improve fisheries and fish stocks.

Such tasks include:

  • Providing better facilities for anglers to fish
  • Tackling illegal fishing such as featured in this story
  • Increasing and improving the stock of freshwater fish
  • Working with other organisations to increase participation levels and ensure the long-term functioning of the Environment Agency in the future.

Do I need to buy a freshwater fishing license?

  • Children under 13 do not need a licence
  • Licences for children aged between 13 and 16 are free. You’ll still need to get a junior licence.
  • You may also need: Permission from the landowner if you’re fishing on private land, and, an additional licence to fish in locks or weirs on the River Thames

For more information on purchasing a freshwater fishing licence, please visit the Government website.

Ryan Davies

Ryan runs the Reel and Rod website, writing about all aspects of sea, course and game fishing! Get in touch with if you want to help our platform grow, have any feedback or would like angling advice!
Ryan Davies
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