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Clamp down on illegal fishing in Cumbria

An angler fishing. Credit: PA

The Environment Agency says it carried out more than 30 patrols to catch people fishing illegally in Cumbria and Lancashire over the May Bank Holiday weekends.

It's a particularly bad time, because May falls within the coarse fishing 'close season', when coarse angling is suspended on rivers, streams, and specified canals and stillwaters to protect spawning fish.

During the two Bank Holiday weekends, Agency staff carried out 61 visits to waters across Cumbria and Lancashire, served more than 62 report forms for illegal fishing, and checked more than 628 anglers for rod licences.

Our enforcement teams have been in out in force – particularly over the last couple of bank holidays – and will continue to be over the coming months.

The number of anglers caught red-handed is testament to how seriously we take illegal fishing but worryingly it shows a blatant disregard for 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.”

– Sarah Chare, Environment Agency head of fisheries
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