James Pond Patrols The North West

James Pond – licensed to fish will be on the lookout for illegal anglers in the North West this weekend (June 23 – 24).

North West anglers are being reminded to keep their rod licence handy this weekend (June 23 – 24) as Environment Agency bailiffs will be out in force as part of the North West rod licence blitz to ensure anglers are licensed to fish.

Matt Brazier, Fisheries Team Leader for South Cumbria, said: “Anyone aged over 12 who fishes for salmon, trout, freshwater fish or eels in England, Wales or the Border Esk in Scotland is required to have a rod licence by law.

“Fishing without a licence is a serious offence. If you're caught you could face a fine of up to £2,500 and possibly a ban from fishing.

“Nearly 400 people were prosecuted for fishing without a licence in the North West last year and were fined over £50,000, including costs.”

For 2007/2008 a full season coarse and trout fishing licence costs just £24.50 and a salmon and sea trout licence costs £66.50. There is also a range of concessionary, junior, eight-day and one day licences. The almost three million people who receive Disability Living Allowance in England and Wales are eligible for a half price fishing licence from April 1, 2007.

Buying a new licence couldn't be easier – around 15,000 Post Offices and other outlets sell them; a direct debit can be set up, and they can be purchased over the phone (0870 1662662) or on-line at www.environment-agency.gov.uk/rodlicence any time, day or night.