A number of illegal anglers will be left reeling after being nabbed by Environment Agency officers during a weekend blitz at fishing hotspots across Lincolnshire.
The patrols were carried out by Environment Agency enforcement officers who were acting on intelligence to seek out those fishing without a licence.
Officers carried out more than 400 checks in more than 60 waters across the county, and 23 anglers were reported for offences including fishing without a licence. They now face further action and, if found guilty in court, could face fines of up to £2,500.
Peter Stark, Senior Enforcement Officer at the Environment Agency, said:
“The number of anglers caught red-handed is testament to how seriously we at the Environment Agency take illegal fishing, which disregards the law and the health of fisheries.
“People who don’t buy a licence are not only cheating other anglers and the future of the sport but running the risk of criminal conviction and a fine. There is no excuse – it costs just £27 for a whole year and you can buy it from the Post Office website.”
Every year nearly 1 million anglers fish legally, respecting each other and the sport. The money they pay to buy a licence supports fish, fisheries and fishing, and protects the future of the sport.
For the minority who flout the rules, the most common offence is fishing without a valid licence. Fishing without a valid licence could land you with a fine of up to £2,500 and a criminal record.
Any angler aged 12 or over, fishing on a river, canal or still water needs a licence. An annual licence costs from just £27 (concessions available). You can buy your rod licence online from the Post Office, at your local Post Office or by phoning 0344 800 5386.
The Environment Agency’s work is intelligence-led, meaning that work is targeted on areas where there are reports of evasion or are known illegal hotspots.