THE Environment Agency is sending out a warning to anglers who choose to fish along the Cut Off Channel in Norfolk, where the sport is banned for safety reasons.
Between Wretton Bridge and Barton Mills the banks of the Channel are chalk based and steep with no ledges and when they are wet they become slippery. It is for this reason fishing is not allowed.
Over the last two weekends a dozen people have been booked by Agency bailiffs for fishing along this stretch, despite notices nearby clearly stating that it is not allowed.
Having a fishing licence allows people to use a rod and line but does not give them the right to fish – they still need the fishery owner's permission.
There is a stretch of the Cut Off Channel where it is safe to fish, which is leased to Lynn Angling Club between the Denver Sluice and Wretton Bridge.
Bailiff and agency officer Mick Robinson said: "Beyond that to Barton Mills it is not safe.
"If someone slips into the water they would struggle to get out again because of the slippery banks.
"We don't want to keep booking people but we need to get the message out that it is not safe to fish from these banks.
"We have looked at leasing out the fishing rights but due to insurance problems we are unable to do so," he said.
"We want people to fish both legally and safely."
There are warning signs at the aquaduct gate and the Stoke Ferry Anglian Water sluice site where some people park as well as on other gates.
These should not be ignored.