TWO men have been found guilty of illegally poaching fish from the Mersey.

Gintaras Valiukonis and Arturas Bulota have been prosecuted by The Environment Agency for attempting to steal hundreds of Carp, Pike and Bream They were fined a total of £710 at Warrington Magistrates Court on Wednesday.

The two defendants used an illegal type of net that damages the river, affecting wildlife.

Steve Powell, fisheries specialist for the Environment Agency north west, said: “Water quality has improved so much that the River Mersey now has excellent coarse fish populations and salmon are also returning to the river.

“This case highlights that poaching is a serious criminal offence that threatens the work that has been invested in improving our rivers.”

To report poaching call the EA hotline on 0800 80 70 60.