Three anglers who ran away and hid in bushes after being caught fishing illegally have received fines.
Jack O’Callaghan, 30, Patrick Jones, 35, and Alan Clelland, 56, all of Liverpool, tried to flee from Environment Agency officers.
At North Staffordshire Magistrates’ Court, the trio admitted wilfully obstructing a water bailiff.
The Environment Agency said it would catch “people who flout the law”.
An investigation was launched after the agency heard three men were fishing on the River Trent at Great Haywood, Staffordshire, and in the grounds of the nearby Shugborough Hall on 19 April.
Officers tried to speak to the men but they became aggressive before fleeing and hiding in bushes, an Environment Agency spokesperson said.
The men were then arrested by Staffordshire Police and all three later pleaded guilty to fishing during the close season.
O’Callaghan and Jones admitted fishing without a licence while O’Callaghan also failed to state his name and address to the bailiff.
At Monday’s hearing, O’Callaghan, of Tynwald Place, was fined £480 while Jones, of Judges Drive, and Clelland, of Snaefell Avenue, were ordered to pay £400.
The spokesman continued: “An annual fishing licence costs just £30, yet a small number of anglers continue to risk prosecution for fishing without a licence and breaching byelaws in place to protect fish stocks.”
People caught fishing without a licence can be fined up to £2,500.