Illegal fishermen fined by courts

Species: Eels are among the species which make the Ribble their habitat
Species: Eels are among the species which make the Ribble their habitat
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Environment chiefs have prosecuted a string of illegal fishers over their activity on the River Ribble.

The Ribble is an important habitat for salmon, eels and other freshwater fish such as sea trout.

Darren Bedworth, fisheries biodiversity team leader for the Environment Agency, said: “We prosecute rod and line offences because it is a legal requirement to have a licence. The fee from those licences are important because they are invested back into helping the river environment. We use it to improve habitat for fish, and work with fisheries. People who flout the rules could potentially face fines of up to £2,500. In the south Lancashire area we check around 2,000 licences a year.”

The hearings, which all related to July and August last year, took place at Preston Magistrates’ Court.

Christopher Alan Goodier, 28, of Fitzgerald Street Preston, was given a 12 month conditional discharge after admitting fishing with a rod and line without a licence in July 2014. He must pay a £15 surcharge and £30 costs.

Ashley Ogden, 20, of Fitzgerald Street, was also caught fishing in the River Ribble, Preston. He was given a 12-month conditional discharge after admitting fishing with a rod and line without a licence. He must pay a £15 surcharge and £30 costs. Mark Hindle, 43, of Hillcrest Road, Langho, near Blackburn, was caught at Lyndhurst Fishery near Preston, and must pay a £130 fine, £15 surcharge and £50 costs after admitting the same charge.

Liam Hewitson, 21, of Dundonald Street River Ribble, Preston, was found guilty in his absence and must pay a £100 fine, £20 surcharge and £50 costs, while Lewis Scanlan, 20, of Moira Crescent, Ribbleton, Preston, must pay a £200 fine, £20 surcharge and £127 costs after being found guilty.