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

Christopher Way, 30, from York Road, in Plymouth, was sentenced at Swindon magistrates’ court on April 9.

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.

“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. Junior licences are free for 13 to 16 year olds. Licences are available from www.gov.uk/get-a-fishing-licence