Monday, June 11, 2007

Boat patrol nets close season anglers

Environment Agency enforcement officers carried out a boat patrol along the River Tees in a bid to catch anglers illegally fishing during the coarse fish close season.

The River Tees has become a highly valued coarse fishery since the Tees barrage was erected 12 years ago, but the Environment Agency had received complaints that anglers were fishing illegally on the river, between the Tees Barrage and Yarm.

Officers found eight of the eleven people checked on this stretch of river were fishing illegally on Tuesday June 5th and they will now be reported for prosecution. This included people fishing without rod licences and those using maggots in the close season for coarse fish.

One suspected offender tried to escape from enforcement officers and was captured and arrested until his identity could be verified.

Environment Agency fisheries officer David Bamford said: "It is important to enforce the coarse fish closed season as fish need to be allowed to spawn successfully without being targeted by anglers.

"Fish become vulnerable to handling damage at spawning time and can fall victim to disease if handled."