FENLANDER: Warning to watch out for illegal anglers using Fenland waterways

ANGLERS and other people using Fenland waterways are being urged to help clamp down on illegal fishing by reporting any suspicious incidents to the Environment Agency.

The call follows concerns raised by the Whittlesey Angling Association (WAA) about people on boats without the proper registration plates using nets to catch fish in waters around the town.

The association met recently with police, the Environment Agency, Middle Level Commissioners and Fenland District Council to discuss ways of combating the problem.

John Warren, the WAA’s secretary, said: “Over the past two years there has been a big increase in the amount of illegal fishing, to the extent where a month ago we had about four boats with 12 people with nets and rods taking fish out of the river. The registration plates on the boats had been painted out.

“It is becoming a major concern on all our waters and Fenland is not alone. It has been going on for two or three years and has reached epidemic proportions. If it goes on, it will destroy our sport.”

Councillor Steve Garratt, FDC’s portfolio holder responsible for leisure and a keen angler himself, said: “We are currently looking at ways in which we might be able to help tackle this problem, not least because of its potential impact on tourism.

“Angling is one of Fenland’s main attractions, bringing people in from all over the country. And anything that damages the sport is bad for the whole district.

Most Read

“Anyone out fishing or walking by the river should keep their eye out. If they see anything suspicious, they should report it to the Environment Agency immediately.”

To report suspicious incidents call the Environment Agency on 0800 807060.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter