Three illegal anglers caught during operation at West Norfolk lakes
A new scheme has been launched to clamp down on illegal fishing in West Norfolk’s drains and waterways.
Environment Agency officials say three people have already been caught fishing without a rod licence at Pentney Lakes during the first two weeks of Operation Lungfish.
The scheme sees the agency working with voluntary groups, bailiffs and police in a month-long programme of patrols and enforcement action.
The Pentney operation was a joint patrol with Norfolk Police and a similar patrol in the Broads area revealed five more offenders.
Meanwhile, enforcement work on drains and rivers across Norfolk, Cambridgeshire and Suffolk also saw five other people caught fishing without a licence, officials said yesterday.
Heidi Stone, Environment Agency fisheries partnerships manager, said: “We encourage everyone to give fishing a go this summer and throughout this month. Existing fishing licence holders can take a friend fishing by applying for a free day licence.
“As law abiding anglers know, illegal fishing and anti-social behaviour on our banks is not only harmful to fish populations but can also have a detrimental effect on the environment and surrounding wildlife.
“We are working closely with our partners on Operation Lungfish to ensure that fishing licence income is used to protect fisheries and make angling a great experience for all.”
Rod licence sales increased by more than 16 per cent last year and the agency says the proceeds enabled them to increase their work to protect fisheries.
Licences can be renewed online at www.gov.uk/fishing-licences