We want to see further action on illegal fishing in South Holland - says angler
More still needs to be done to tackle illegal fishing in our area - says a frustrated Sutton St James angler.
Andi Shortland, who runs a Facebook page called 'The Diary of a Fen Angler', spoke out after three people were caught fishing without a licence in Spalding last Tuesday (February 5).
He took a photo of officers from the Environment Agency on patrol along the River Welland, which he posted on his Facebook page.
The image was shared several times and commented on by others who are angry about people still flouting fishing laws.
"This is just the tip of the iceberg," he said. "It is theft. It is just against the local way of life.
"It is something that has been an issue for a few years now but we do not get action in our neck of the woods."
And he posted on our Facebook page: "The real reason the EA(Environment Agency) were in attendance is that local anglers have been policing the water and calling in incidents of illegal anglers removing buckets full of fish for months.
"On Sunday, this came to head when Lee and myself", (fellow angler Lee Biggadike), "found and removed an illegal fish trap and bypassed the EA incident line and instead reported it to the local fisheries team.
"Tuesday lunchtime we finally got the action all local rod licence holders have been waiting for."
And he told us: "It is happening also in the Coronation Channel and Vernatts." (Drain). "It is decimating the fish stock and other animals get caught up in the illegal nets such as otters and kingfishers."
In response to Andi's comments, a spokesperson for the Environment Agency said: “We track illegal anglers on an intelligence led basis using information gathered by ourselves, partner organisations and reports from the public.
“We urge anyone to report illegal fishing as quickly as possible by calling our incident hotline on 0800 80 70 60. We need as much detail as possible and promptly.”
Operation Traverse, jointly run by Lincolnshire Police, the Angling Trust, the Environment Agency and the Fish Health Inspectorate, aims to inform people about fishing byelaws in this area.