A man was caught ‘cheating the system’ by fishing illegally in a lake in Whitwick.
Michael Burton, was found fishing in Hermitage Lake in August without a licence.
A licence would have cost him just £30 for the year – but now he’s been made to pay more than £600 for going without.
The 26-year-old of Owen Street, Coalville was proven guilty in his absence at Northampton Magistrates Court this week.
Following the verdict, James Anderson, Fisheries Enforcement Officer for the Environment Agency said: “The case shows how seriously the courts take these offences and acts as a reminder to anglers of the importance of having a rod licence.
“We hope it will provide a deterrent to any angler who is thinking of fishing without a licence.
“All of the money raised from rod licence sales is used to protect and improve fish stocks and fisheries, benefitting anglers and, for those caught cheating the system, we will always prosecute.”
Burton was ordered to pay a total of £611.47.
The penalty includes a fine of £440 plus costs of £127.47 and a victim surcharge of £44 after Burton was found in breach of the Salmon and Freshwater Fisheries Act (1975) on August 7, 2018.
The Environment Agency, which prosecuted Burton says each year across the country, thousands of anglers are prosecuted for not having a fishing licence.
Getting caught without a licence could land a fine of up to £2,500.
Any angler aged 13 or over, fishing on a river, canal or still water needs a licence. A one day licence is priced from just £6 and an annual licence costs from just £30 (concessions available).
Anyone with information about illegal fishing activities can contact the Environment Agency Incident Hotline 24/7 on 0800 80 70 60 or anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.