Anglers from Thetford and Lowestoft fined for fishing without licences

Anglers need a rod licence to fish. Picture: Chris Bishop

Anglers need a rod licence to fish. Picture: Chris Bishop - Credit: Archant

Two anglers netted hefty fines after they admitted fishing without a licence.

Jay Coulson of Spexhall Way, Lowestoft, and Jonas Musinskas, of Oak Close, Thetford, were ordered to pay more than £900 between them by King's Lynn magistrates on Wednesday, February 22.

Coulson, 32, admitted fishing without a licence on the Catch 22 fishery, at Lyng, near Dereham, on July 26, 2016. He was fined £330, ordered to pay costs of £127 and a victim surcharge of £30.

Musinskas, 36, pleaded guilty in his absence to fishing without a licence at Fendicks Pit, near Northwold, on July 17, 2016.

He was fined £290, and ordered to pay costs of £127, along with a victim surcharge of £30.

Both were caught by Environment Agency bailiffs who were carrying out patrols of fishing venues around the region. Officers can ask anglers to show their licences and prosecute those who do not have one.

Lesley Robertson, the agency's enforcement team leader for East Anglia, said: 'The vast majority of anglers who fish legally deserve to see those who flout the law brought to account.

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'Our fisheries enforcement officers patrol the watercourses all year round and those who avoid fishing legally with a rod licence will be caught. Anglers should ensure they are properly licensed before going out to enjoy this worthwhile hobby.'

In 2015, enforcement officers performed licence checks at the waterside on 4,716 anglers across Norfolk, Essex and Suffolk 4716 and reported 432 of them for fishing illegally.

Anglers need a £27 rod licence to fish both public and private waters, including rivers, drains and lakes.

Officials say that the money from permit sales supports fish stocks, fisheries and fishing, and helps safeguard the future of the sport.

Proceeds are re-invested into restocking, improving access to waters and initiatives like teach-ins for young anglers and those returning to the sport.

For the minority who flout the rules, the most common offence is fishing without a valid licence, which could land them with a fine of up to £2,500 and a criminal record. Persistent offenders have also been banned from the riverbank.

Licences increase to £30 for adults in April.

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