Angler spotted just inside pause period to allow fish to spawn and develop.
Andrzej Krainski, of Eastern Road, Watton, in Norfolk, was caught fishing during the close season on 15 March 2022 at Swanton Morley on the River Wensum.
The case was heard at Folkestone magistrates’ court, where Krainski pleaded guilty by post. The court fined him £220 and imposed a £34 victim surcharge and £135 in costs.
Krainski was caught fishing on the first day of the 2022 river fishing close season, which is in place to allow an uninterrupted spawning period and helps to protect vulnerable species. It also provides an opportunity for the Environment Agency and partners to carry out projects up and down the country to further enhance habitats vital for improving fish-spawning.
Lesley Robertson, enforcement team leader for the Environment Agency in East Anglia, said:
This case shows we pursue offenders through the courts and won’t hesitate to take enforcement action where anglers break rules. Anyone found fishing illegally may face prosecution and a fine of up to £2,500.
We urge anyone with information about illegal fishing to contact us on 0800 807060.
The Environment Agency carries out enforcement work all year round and is supported by police forces and the Angling Trust. Fisheries enforcement work is intelligence-led, targeting known hot-spots and where illegal fishing is reported.
Anyone with information about illegal fishing activities should report it to our incident hotline: 0800 807060. You can also report it to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
Andrzej Krainski pleaded guilty by post to breaching National Byelaw 2 of the Environment Agency Byelaws made on 12 July 2010. The offence was contrary to National Byelaw 6, confirmed 23 March 2010, made pursuant to sections 210 and 211, schedule 25 of the Water Resources Act 1991. He was sentenced at Folkestone magistrates’ court on 27 May 2022.
The closed coarse fishing season runs from 15 March to 15 June inclusive.