No Fishing Allowed

Anglers across Bedford and Milton Keynes are being reminded rivers are now off limits.

The Environment Agency is warning anyone thinking of going fishing in rivers and drains that the coarse fishing season is now closed and anyone caught breaking the rules may be prosecuted.

Kye Jerrom, fisheries officer, said: “The close season for coarse fishing is there for a reason. By preventing coarse fishing for three months, between 15 March and 15 June, it allows for an uninterrupted spawning period which increases spawning success, in addition to providing wider environmental benefits. Environment Agency fisheries bailiffs will be carrying out regular patrols of waters during the close season and anyone found fishing illegally may face prosecution. Our message to anyone thinking of breaking the rules is: You better watch out, there’s a bailiff about.

“Fishing is still permitted on many canals and stillwaters, depending on landowner agreement, however anyone caught illegally fishing during the close season may now find themselves on the wrong side of a substantial fine as part of the Marine Act.”

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.

Kye added: “The money raised through the sales of rod licences is re-invested and enables us to improve all fisheries including rivers for anglers.  Our bailiffs routinely undertake licence checks and we urge anyone with information about illegal fishing activity to contact us.  If in doubt about where you can fish visit our website or your local tackle shop who are always point you in the right direction.”

Illegal fishing should be reported to the Environment Agency’s Incident Hotline on 0800 80 70 60.

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