A man who killed and stole a salmon during a prohibited fishing season has been told to pay out nearly £1,750.
Ronald Webster, 55, from The Coppice, Longton, Preston, was fishing with a rod and line on the River Border Esk in Cumbria, when he was spotted by Environment Agency fisheries officers on patrol.
Carlisle Magistrates’ Court heard how the officers saw Webster catch and remove a female salmon on October 4 last year, during the prohibited fishing season.
Between September 10 and October 31 female salmon caught by people fishing must be returned immediately to the water with the least possible injuries.
But the officers witnessed Mr Webster kill the salmon by hitting it over the head before placing it in his car.
The Environment Agency brought the prosecution under a byelaw, which aims to protect the species to help sustain salmon stocks in the river for the future.
An agency spokesman said: “The £740 fine and £1,000 costs demonstrate that the courts take these byelaws and the protection of salmon in our rivers seriously.
“We have publicised this byelaw widely to ensure anglers and the public are aware of the need for female salmon to be allowed time to reach their spawning grounds and deposit their eggs to sustain future generations.”