A POLISH angler received a huge £1,000 bill after being caught trying to foul-hook fish.

Swansea Magistrates Court heard Bromislaw Orzechowski was seen fishing on the River Loughor using multiple over-sized hooks quickly swept through the swim trying to foul-hook the fish.

Justin Amos, prosecuting, said on June 16 last year an officer from Natural Resources Wales together with a policeman were patrolling the River Loughor near the main A484 roadbridge when they saw 60-year-old Orzechowski using the foul hook technique.

Anglers fish legally, the correct way, at the spot near where the foul-hooking offence took place.

The prosecutor said NRW were paying particular attention to that part of the estuary at that time became salmon were migrating up-river, and snatching had the potential to cause “grave injury” to fish.

He said the officers approached the defendant who told them the technique was legal in his native Poland – something NRW later established is not the case.

Prohibited implement

Orzechowski, of Garden Suburbs, Trimsaran, Carmarthenshire, pleaded guilty to using a prohibited implement to take or kill fish on a basis – but that he hadn’t actually caught any fish.

The prosecutor said NRW did not accept that basis of plea, and the defendant had caught in fact fish — but he said it would make no difference to any sentence handed down to the defendant because the mischief of the offence was the technique itself, rather than the catch.

Lee Davies, for Orzechowski, said his client had fished for more than 30 years and had been unaware foul hooking was illegal — but he did now, and he wouldn’t be doing it again.

Orzechowski was fined £250, and was ordered to pay £773.12 in prosecution costs and a £30 court surcharge. Magistrates issued a forfeiture and destruction order for his rod and tackle.

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