TWO MEN have been found guilty of fishing offences which took place in Prudhoe.

Dennis Ruddick, 50, of Belsay and Keith Fullen, 47, of Tedham Road in Newcastle both pleaded guilty to fishing during the close season and using illegal bait on April 29, 2023 at Alders on the River Tyne at Prudhoe.

The cases were heard at Hull Magistrates’ Court on September 7.

Ruddick was fined £127 and ordered to pay costs and a victim surcharge totalling £185. Fullen was fined £115 and ordered to pay costs and a victim surcharge totalling £181.

In 2023, 38 people were caught fishing illegally and will paid more than £12,000 in fines and costs.

Environment Agency Fisheries Enforcement Officers clamp down on illegal angling to protect fish stocks and make fishing sustainable.

Paul Caygill, fisheries enforcement officer at the Environment Agency, said: “We hope these penalties send out the message to others that illegal fishing is taken seriously and people flouting the law can expect to face enforcement action.

“They could have bought a 1-day rod licence to fish for just £6.60 or an annual licence for £33 and avoided both the fine and court process, so this has proven costly for those involved. 

“The money raised from fishing licence sales is used to protect and improve fish stocks and fisheries for the benefit of anglers. Illegal fisheries undermines our efforts to protect fish stocks and make fishing sustainable into the future.”

Any angler aged 13 or over, fishing on a river, canal or still water must purchase a fishing licence to fish in England and Wales.

Anyone with information about illegal fishing activities can contact the Environment Agency incident hotline 24/7 on 0800 807060 or anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.