First Prosecution Under New Salmon Byelaw

Two men have become the first to be prosecuted under new byelaws which prohibit the killing of female salmon on the River Eden and Border Esk.

Ian Hamilton from Darlington, County Durham and Nicholas Bankcroft from Astley, Manchester both pleaded guilty at Carlisle Magistrates Court today (13 March 2009), after being caught with female salmon by Environment Agency Bailiffs on 22 October 2008, on the Border Esk. They were each fined £300 and ordered to pay costs of £100, and a victim surcharge of £15.  The Magistrates also ordered the forfeiture and destruction of two salmon seized by Fisheries Officers.

The byelaws were introduced in order to protect the salmon species during the breeding season.

The new byelaws came into effect in 2008.  From 10 September to 14 October on the river Eden, and from 10 September to 31 October on the Border Esk, no female salmon or sea trout may be retained.  They must be returned back to the river with as little injury as possible.

Keith Kendall, Fisheries Team Leader said, “These byelaws have been widely publicised, and are intended to increase the numbers of eggs laid by salmon and sea trout in the Border Esk and Eden. Anglers who breach the byelaws will face prosecution.  It is important that we protect the salmon and sea trout population for future generations.”

In another prosecution, Paul Chambers and John Ostle, both from Marypor, pleaded guilty to using or possessing illegal instruments to take salmon.  Mr Chambers also pleaded guilty to fishing for or attempting to take salmon during the close season. They both received fines totalling £300 and were also each ordered to pay costs of £100 each and a victim surcharge of £15.  The Court also ordered the forfeiture and destruction of various items seized by the Fisheries Officers..

On these offences Keith Kendall said “ The Agency take seriously the protection of spawning fish and during the spawning season carry out targeted patrols of spawning areas during the day and in the hours of darkness.  Anyone caught acting illegally will face prosecution.