With the England Football team out of the UEFA Euro 2012 championship, many anglers will be taking the opportunity to visit their local fishery – and they need to make sure they are fishing legally.
Environment Agency Fisheries Enforcement Officers will be blitzing Lincolnshire waterways as part of Operation Garda between 27 June and 1 July to make sure those enjoying the sport are licensed.
There is a wide variety of excellent waters available for keen anglers across the county, from trout reservoirs and gravel pits to commercial fisheries and smaller ponds.
During the last blitz, which spanned the Jubilee weekend, intelligence was used to identify ‘hotspots’ and problem areas. More than 50 locations were targeted and several anglers were unable to produce a licence. They were issued with offence tickets and will almost certainly end up in court.
Now the same approach is being used again in Lincolnshire.
Lesley Robertson, Environmental Crime Team Leader said: “Environment Agency fisheries enforcement officers will be carrying out regular patrols of waters in Lincolnshire and anyone found fishing illegally may face prosecution, and a hefty fine.
“All anglers need a valid Environment Agency rod licence which allows them to use up to two rods. Rod licences run from 1 April to 31 March and fishing without one can lead to a substantial fine”
Lesley added: “All the money the Environment Agency receives from rod licence sales is spent improving fisheries. People who don’t buy a licence are cheating their sport and other anglers so we urge people to help us crackdown on unlicensed anglers by reporting this illegal activity to us on 0800 80 70 60”
An annual rod licence for the 2012/13 season remains at 2011 prices, costing £27 for non-migratory trout and 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 and anyone with a Blue Badge parking concession or in receipt of Disability Living Allowance also pays the concessionary adult rate of £18 (non-migratory trout and char and freshwater fish and eels) and £48 (salmon and migratory trout).
One to eight-day licences for occasional anglers are also available for £3.75 and £10 (non-migratory trout and char and freshwater fish and eels) or £8 and £23 (salmon and migratory trout).
Licences may be bought from post offices, via the Environment Agency website (www.environment-agency.gov.uk/fish) or by dialling 0844 800 5386.
Alternatively, they can be obtained from any Post Office or via the internet at www.environment-agency.gov.uk/rodlicence
Anyone caught without a valid rod licence can expect to be prosecuted and face a fine of up to £2,500.