COURTS have once again taken the issue of fish theft as insignificant despite the offenders being caught taking over 20 kilos of eels and spawn-bound coarse fish from a river during the Close Season.

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Cheltenham Magistrates in Gloucestershire heard last Monday that Tomaz Waszkiewicz, Imants Grinbergs, Konrad Smereczanski and Normunds Katlis, who all pleaded guilty to an array of offences yet walked away from with pittance of fines and also had seized tackle returned.

The four, believed to be Eastern European migrants, were caught fishing on the River Severn during a routine elver fishing patrol and were fined just £25 for each offence.

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