A Yeovil man has netted a fine for illegal fishing at a fishery.

Alan Reid, 47, of Westfield Road, Yeovil pleaded guilty to fishing without a licence, leaving rods unattended and failing to provide his name and address when asked to.

He was fined a total of £120 and ordered to pay costs of £135 and a victim surcharge of £34 at Swindon Magistrates Court on May 3.

On December 1, 2021, while on patrol at Coking Farm fishery near Henstridge in south Somerset, fisheries officers discovered Mr Reid fishing illegally.

He failed to produce a rod licence when asked and refused to provide his name and address.

He was also found not be in control of his rod and line, as they had been left unattended with bait and hook in the water.

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Following the verdict, James Allan, 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.

"We are able to check offenders’ details, so giving false information is not an easy route out of failing to comply.

"This angler blatantly disregarded signs at the fishery that said an Environment Agency rod licence was needed to fish.

"As part of Operation Clampdown signs had been put at the entrance to the fishery and on each fishing peg.

"Anglers must be control of their rod and line at all times whilst fishing - it is illegal to leave them unattended with bait or hook in the water.

"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 £50,000."

Any angler aged 13 or over, fishing on a river, canal or still water needs a licence.

A one-day licence costs from £6 and an annual licence costs from £30 with concessions available.

Junior licences are free for 13 - 16-year-olds.

Licences are available from www.gov.uk/get-a-fishing-licence or by calling the Environment Agency on 0344 800 5386 between 8am and 6pm, Monday to Friday.