May Rod Prosecutions

More than 400 anglers were prosecuted by the Environment Agency in May for fishing without a rod licence.

"Fishing without a licence is an offence and those caught fishing illegally face tough penalties, including fines of up to £2,500 and a ban from fishing. This time around the courts fined the illegal anglers a total of more than £30,000 and charged them an additional £25,000 in costs," explained Environment Agency Head of Fisheries Dafydd Evans.

"People who fish without a licence are cheating the system and their fellow anglers. Around £19m is raised through rod licences and invested in fisheries work that benefits all anglers, fish stocks and the waterside environment. Last year more than 4,600 anglers paid almost £600,000 in fines and costs. We expect more prosecutions following the June blitz."

Some anglers believe a licence is valid for 12 months from the date of purchase. This is not the case. All rod licences expire on March 31. So, if you have taken a break from fishing to watch the World Cup remember to check your licence is valid before going back to the riverbank.

Buying a licence couldn't be easier – there are around 15,000 Post Offices and other outlets which sell them direct; and for a small additional charge they can be purchased over the phone (0870 1662662) or from our web site – www.environment-agency.gov.uk/rodlicence any time, day or night.