Anglers are hooked up by agency

Fishing at Scarborough Mere. Picture by Ken Wigg.
Fishing at Scarborough Mere. Picture by Ken Wigg.

n A total of 6,853 people were questioned and 697 reported for fisheries offences across the region.

ENVIRONMENT Agency bailiffs netted more than a dozen Scarborough anglers who were fishing illegally over the last year, it has been revealed.

The 17 successful prosecutions resulted in fines totalling £1,015 and costs which came to £1,711.

The team of bailiffs visited hundreds of waters in Yorkshire during the last 12 months.

Peter Mischenko, fisheries technical officer for the Environment Agency, said: “Our bailiffs routinely patrol still-water fisheries, canals and rivers all over the region, and we will not hesitate to prosecute when an offence has been committed.

“It can cost as little as £27 to buy a rod licence and all of the money goes back into maintaining, improving and protecting our fisheries. Those who choose not to buy a licence are not only breaking the law, but are cheating honest anglers.

“We are continually looking at new ways to protect our fisheries and working closer than ever with angling clubs to ensure that all laws relating to fisheries are adhered to. If anyone wants any advice regarding this or any other fisheries matters they just need to get in touch.”

All the money the Environment Agency receives from rod licence sales is spent improving fisheries. Essential work such as surveying, disease control, restocking, habitat improvement and commenting on potentially harmful planning applications is carried out by fisheries staff, and some also carry out enforcement work.

Anglers must be in possession of a licence before fishing and must be able to produce it when requested by an Environment Agency bailiff or other authorised person. There are junior and concessionary priced licences.

Licences may be bought from post offices, via www.environment-agency.gov.uk/fish or by dialing 08701 662662.

Licences run from April 1 to March 31 and are valid for two rods. An additional licence is required if an angler is using three or four rods.