Angler lands hefty fine for fishing without a licence

An angler was today ordered to pay £445 in fines and costs after he was caught fishing at a Bristol lakes complex without a rod licence.

An Environment Agency fisheries officer was on a routine visit to Bullock Farm Lakes at Kingston Seymour on June 4, 2006 when he saw Alan Hynam, 22, fishing with two rods. When asked to produce his licence, Hynam said he had left it at home.

The officer issued the defendant with a written notice requiring him to produce a licence to the Agency within seven days. Hynam failed to produce a licence despite being sent a reminder letter.

Hynam, of Gatcombe Road, Hartcliffe, Bristol, was today fined £375 and ordered to pay £70 costs by North Somerset Magistrates sitting at Weston-super-Mare after being found guilty in his absence of fishing for freshwater fish or eels at Bullock Farm Lakes without a valid licence contrary to Section 27(a) of the Salmon and Freshwater Fisheries Act 1975.

‘Buying a rod licence has never been easier, so there's no excuse for fishing without one. Anglers must ensure they have a valid licence before they start fishing or face the prospect of tough penalties including a fine of up to £2,500 and a ban from fishing,' said Stuart Miller for the Environment Agency.

‘Most anglers understand that rod licence fees are necessary and know the revenue goes towards maintaining and improving fisheries and fish stocks. The work includes disease detection, fish rescues, monitoring fish stock and developing angling opportunities.'

Rod licences can be purchased online by visiting the Agency's website www.environment-agency.co.uk/rodlicence or by calling 0870 1662662. There are also about 15,000 Post Offices and other outlets that sell them.