Anglers could get caught rod-handed

ANGLERS are being warned to put their equipment away – or net a fine of up to £2,500.

The coarse fishing season is now over and anyone caught rod-handed will be prosecuted.

The Environment Agency is reminding Bostonians not to fish in designated areas after two men from the town were recently caught doing so illegally.

“Environment Agency fisheries bailiffs will be carrying out regular patrols of waters during the close season and anyone found fishing illegally may face prosecution,” said Chris Reeds, senior environment monitoring officer.

“Our message to anyone thinking of breaking the rules is: you better watch out, there’s a bailiff about.”

The angling season for coarse fish ended on March 15, allowing fish to spawn undisturbed, ensuring numbers are not scaled down.

The close season runs until June 15 and anglers are banned from all rivers and drains. Angling is still allowed on some still-waters and canals.

All anglers need a valid Environment Agency rod licence, which allows them to use up to two rods.

Rod licences run from April 1 to March 31, and fishing without one can lead to a fine of up to £2,500.

Mr Reeds said: “The money raised through the sales of rod licences is used to improve fisheries for all anglers.

“Anyone fishing without a licence is therefore cheating their fellow anglers, and we urge anyone with information about illegal fishing activity to contact us.”

An annual rod licence for the 2010/11 season costs £27 for non-migratory trout, char and freshwater fish and eels or £72 for salmon and migratory trout. Concessionary licences, which cost £5, are available to juvenile anglers (aged 12-17).

Anglers under 12 do not require a licence.

Anglers over 65, anyone with a blue badge parking concession or in receipt of disability living allowance also pays a concessionary rate of £18.

l Licences can be bought by calling 0844 800 5386.

l Illegal fishing can be reported on 0800 80 70 60.