The Environment Agency will be carrying out a programme of random licence checking across the South West region over the bank holiday weekend.
The Environment Agency is reminding those who go fishing to buy a rod licence or risk ending up in court facing a fine is the message as Environment Agency enforcement officers visit waters in Somerset, Devon, Dorset, and Cornwall to catch out those fishing without a licence.
Enforcement officers from the Environment Agency will take to popular fishing areas, targeting known hotspots and areas of free fishing.
It should be remembered that a licence entitles the angler to use a maximum of two rods and that a second licence is required if further rods are used as is often the practice in carp and specimen fishing circles.
Rod licence revenue is ploughed back into angling, providing fishery improvement, facilities and promoting the benefits of angling for the community.
Much work is carried out in conjunction with schools to promote angling and environmental awareness.
Rod licences can be obtained from Post Offices and online.
This year’s licences are credit-card size, waterproof and sit conveniently in a wallet. A salmon and sea trout Licence is £72 per season, £8 per day and a coarse and trout licence £27 per season, £3.75 per day. Junior’s licences are excellent value at £5 for either discipline.
Unauthorised fishing carries a maximum fine of £50,000 and sometimes a ban from fishing.
‘Not only is fishing without a licence illegal, but licence dodgers are also cheating fellow anglers and the future of angling, as money raised by rod licence sales goes straight back into fisheries. Work including disease detection, enforcement of illegal fish movements and audit of foreign species is all funded by rod licence revenue,’ said Martin Williams for the Environment Agency.
‘Money raised from rod licence sales is put straight back into improving the environment such as restocking, improving habitats and improving access to fishing for all parts of the community.Anglers must ensure they have a valid licence before they start fishing or face the real prospect of prosecution.’
Anyone aged 12 years or over who fishes for salmon, trout, freshwater fish or eels in England and Wales must have an Environment Agency Rod Fishing Licence. These are readily available and can be purchased from Post Offices, over the telephone, online and by direct debit.