A WINDERMERE angler has netted a heavy fine after being successfully prosecuted by the Environment Agency for illegal fishing in the Lake District.
Adrie Van Sprang, 54, of Bellman Close, was fined £400 fine, ordered to pay £127.47 costs and a £20 victim surcharge at South Lakeland Magistrates Court today.
The court heard that Environment Agency fisheries officers caught Van Sprang fishing with unlicenced rods and using banned bait during a boat patrol at Pull Wyke Bay on Windermere, near Ambleside, on April 30.
Magistrates heard he was fishing from a small anchored boat using five rods and lines. The maximum number of rods that can be used is four, but Van Sprang was only licenced to use two.
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He was also using dead freshwater fish as his bait which is a by-law offence due to the risks of introducing non-native species and diseases into waters that could have a detrimental impact on local fish populations.
Fisheries Officer Graeme McKee said: “This sentencing should stand as a lesson to the small minority of anglers who flaunt the law, which is in place to protect fish stocks and habitats.
“Once you’ve bought your rod licence you need to make sure you’re aware of national fishing rules and the local by-laws. It’s particularly important only to use legal bait, such as frozen sea fish, to help protect native species in the Lake District such as Arctic Charr.
“By using freshwater baits, Van Sprang risked introducing disease and parasites that our native fish have no immunity to and that could damage local wildlife and habitats.
“It’s particularly disappointing that Van Sprang had accepted a caution for having five rods in 2011, so was well aware of the risks.”