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Illegal anglers targeted in Spalding

Officials have been clamping down on illegal angling along the River Welland.

The Angling Trust, Environment Agency (EA) and South Holland Police have been working together to target people who are fishing without a licence and with the wrong equipment in the Spalding area to protect the area’s wildlife.

Operation Traverse saw officers and volunteer baliffs from the Angling Trust patrolling the river banks around the town centre in September.

Paul Thomas, the trust’s regional enforcement officer, says a number of people were challenged during the patrols, which also help to tackle other problems in the community.

He said: “The patrols re-assure the legal anglers that someone out there is looking after the waterways which are massively important to us. It is not just about enforcement but also education.

“One thing that was very apparent through Spalding town centre and working with the police was the anti-social behaviour and drinking. It helps to curb that.

The Angling Trust and Lincolnshire Police take part in a crack down on illegal angling in Spalding (51888318)
The Angling Trust and Lincolnshire Police take part in a crack down on illegal angling in Spalding (51888318)

James Hooker, the EA’s fisheries team leader, said it had been a really good year for fish stocks on the Welland.

He said: “Not following the rules has an adverse impact on local and national fish stocks and other species which are overlooked, such as as otters and water voles.

“It can also have a significant health and safety impact on other water way users.”

Anglers, over the age of 13, need a licence to fish on a river, canal, or still water. Money raised from these sales is used to protect and improve fisheries.

Fishing illegally carries a fine of up to £2,500.

Licences cost between £6 and 30 are available online or from a Post Office.

Report illegal fishing to 0800 807060.

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