Illegal anglers spotted across Cambs during close season clampdown
- Credit: Environment Agency
Ninety-six people were found fishing and eight offence tickets were issued across Cambridgeshire as part of a clampdown during the close season.
Environment Agency (EA) fisheries enforcement officers patrolled more than 70 locations with Cambridgeshire police’s rural crime action team (RCAT) over 10 weeks between March 15 and June 15.
Graeme Storey, fisheries manager at the EA, said: “Our officers patrol all year round and suspicious activity will be challenged.
“By working closely with our partners, we can address these issues and minimise their impacts on the environment and on those who do the right thing.”
Local angling club bailiffs reported seven anglers fishing on the River Great Ouse near Brandon Creek, where an illegal trap was seized over the 10-week period.
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Tickets were also issued for fishing during the close season and failure to provide a rod licence.
The patrols have been carried out by the EA with support of the Voluntary Bailiff Service, police and other partners to remind anglers of holding a valid fishing licence as the river coarse fishing season resumes.
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Nino Brancato, national enforcement support manager at the Angling Trust, said: “Fisheries enforcement is a great example of how partnership working works well.
“With staff from the Angling Trust, Environment Agency, police and volunteers, we are all committed to protecting our rivers, canals and lakes for the benefit of fish and fishing.”
Over 10 weeks of the close season, 608 patrols were carried out with 214 offences being detected, and 224 patrols as part of Operation Clampdown were undertaken in May alone.
In East Anglia, 42 fisheries enforcement patrols took place which resulted in 16 offences.
Last month, it was reported seven people were caught fishing in Fenland without a rod licence after the RCAT and the EA’s fisheries enforcement officers conducted spot checks.
The Government says that as well as “cheating other anglers, fishing illegally can carry a hefty penalty.
“Getting caught without a licence could land a fine of up to £2,500.”
The EA is now inviting new and seasoned anglers to understand their fishing licence as more than just a legal entitlement to fish as part of a new campaign.
The Great Outdoor Escape, launched last month, highlights that fishing is a licence to connect with nature and see friends.
For more information, visit: https://bit.ly/3gv9i5w.