Illegal fishing blitz this weekend

The ice and snow can’t keep Environment Agency enforcement officers away from a planned blitz targeting illegal fishing this weekend.

Officers will visit rivers, drains and still waters in Norfolk and Cambridgeshire on Saturday, January 26.

Anyone caught without a valid rod licence can be prosecuted and fined up to £2,500.

Lesley Robertson, Environmental Crime Team Leader, said: “We want people to know that we patrol the rivers all year round.

“Although there are less people fishing on them during the winter, they must all still have the correct licences.

“The patrol this weekend will also be important because it will give us a chance to talk to members of the public who weren’t fishing as a way to spread the message and also gather intelligence for any malpractice they believe they have seen.”

The blitz will target waterways including the River Great Ouse, the River Lark and the River Wissey.

Environment Agency Fisheries Enforcement Officers check rod licences throughout the fishing season and check waters for illegal fishing during the close season.

All anglers need a valid Environment Agency rod licence which allows them to use up to two rods. Rod licences run from 1 April to 31 March and fishing without one can lead to a substantial fine.

Licences can be bought from post offices, via the Environment Agency website (www.environment-agency.gov.uk/rodlicence) or by dialling 0844 800 5386.