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Man fined for fishing illegally fishing in Cornwall

A Plymouth man has been ordered to pay a total of £443 after being caught fishing for freshwater fish or eels without a valid rod licence in Porth Reservoir, Newquay.

Christopher Way, 30, from York Road, in Plymouth, was sentenced at Swindon magistrates’ court on 9 April. He was convicted in absence and ordered to pay a £220 fine in addition to £135 in costs and £88 victim surcharge.

James Allan, an Environment Agency fisheries enforcement officer, said:

Money raised from fishing 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.

These anglers disregarded signs at the fisheries that said an Environment Agency rod licence was needed to fish.

Rod fishing byelaws are there to protect fish stocks and their habitats. If you do not comply with these byelaws you could face prosecution and be fined 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 costs from just £7.10 and an annual licence costs from just £30 (concessions available). Junior licences are free for 13 – 16-year-olds. Licences are available from or by calling the Environment Agency on 0344 800 5386 between 8am and 6pm, Monday to Friday.

The Environment Agency carries out enforcement work all year round and is supported by partners including the police and the Angling Trust. Fisheries enforcement work is intelligence-led, targeting known hot-spots and where illegal fishing is reported.

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.


Christopher Way was charged as follows:

On 20 January 2024 at Porth Reservoir, Newquay, in a place where fishing is regulated, he fished for freshwater fish or eels by means of an unlicensed fishing instrument, namely rod and line. This was contrary to Section 27(1)(a) of the Salmon and Freshwater Fisheries Act 1975.

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