Officers from Northamptonshire Police have been working alongside the Environment Agency and Angling Trust in a bid to tackle illegal fishing.
Rural and Wildlife Crime officers have been out on patrol with the Environment Agency Fisheries Enforcement Officer and volunteer bailiffs from the Angling Trust during the closed season for fishing, to provide advice and guidance and carry out enforcement where necessary.
The ‘closed season’ runs from mid-March to mid-June during the fish breeding period and means no fishing is allowed on any river during that time. Anyone who does fish on a river between these dates could be fined up to £2500.
Rural and Wildlife Crime Officer Chloe Gillies from Northamptonshire Police said: “We recently spent a day patrolling the River Nene in the Northampton area with the Environment Agency Enforcement Officer and Angling Trust Voluntary Bailiffs.
“During these patrols, two people were seen fishing on the River Nene and they have been reported by the Environment Agency for fishing without a rod licence and in the closed season. This means they will receive a potential fine for committing these offences and a criminal record.
“Fishing without permission and the theft of fish are criminal offences. It is also an offence to fish in a river during the closed season. Once the season is open again, then anglers can return to fish the rivers but must ensure they have a rod licence and that they carry it with them.”
Fishing without a licence also carries a potential fine of up to £2500. For information about how to obtain a licence, visit www.gov.uk.
Anyone with any concerns about people fishing illegally in the county’s waterways is asked to report it to the Environment Agency on 0800 807060 or contact Northamptonshire Police on 101.