Operation CLAMPDOWN 8 to target illegal close season fishing

The Angling Trust’s Voluntary Bailiff Service will be taking part in Operation CLAMPDOWN 8 during the annual coarse fishing close season on rivers (March 15 – June 15 inclusive), reporting suspicious activity and incidents to the Environment Agency and police. Anyone convicted of illegally fishing during the close season faces a maximum fine of £50,000.

A spokesperson for the Environment Agency said: “The message is simple; don’t take the risk of a fine and a criminal conviction. The chances of being caught out are even greater this year, thanks to the support of Angling Trust VBS members.”

Angling Trust National Enforcement Manager, Dilip Sarkar MBE, a retired West Mercia Police officer, said: “This annual multi-agency operation is an important one, providing an ideal opportunity for all our partners to work together to protect fish and fisheries. Our volunteers, trained to report incidents and information to a high evidential standard, contributing to the intelligence-led system, are essential to this process and we are grateful to them all.”

The Voluntary Bailiff Service is part of the Angling Trust’s Fisheries Enforcement Support Service, which is funded from fishing licence income as part of the National Angling Strategic Services contract with the Environment Agency.

There are still plenty of opportunities to wet a line for coarse fish while rivers and streams are off limits. The vast majority of stillwaters and canals will be open, check your local byelaws for the list of sites included within the statutory close season.

All full licences now run for 365 days from purchase, make sure you know when yours expires. Buy one online HERE