A new survey showing good fish numbers in the River Glen is proof that measures against illegal angling are working, it has been claimed.
The Environment Agency survey, carried out on the River Glen between Surfleet Seas End and Carlby, near Bourne, found 16 different species of fish amongst more than 14,000 checked.
Our resources are limited so we rely on the angling community to report incidents to us so that we know where to target our patrolsChief Inspector Jim Tyner, tactical lead on rural and wildlife crime, Lincolnshire Police
An Environment Agency spokesman said: “The river is surveyed on a three-year cycle but comparisons are difficult to make because fish are transient shoaling species that can be present in one section one day and gone the next.
“Overall, the results from were good and better than the previous survey, evidence of how our work pays off in that the river is supporting sixteen different species of fish.
“In any event, the number of illegal fishing incidents reported on the Glen is low but we do patrol regularly.”
In 2017, the Environment Agency invested more than £6million in opening up new habitat and rescuing fish from pollution, as well as checking 62,000 rod licences and successfully prosecuting more than 2,000 people for fishing illegally.
The prosecutions came about through its Operation Traverse partnership with the Angling Trust and Lincolnshire Police to prevent illegal fishing and fish theft.
The Environment Agency spokesman said: “Maintaining, improving and protecting fisheries is one of our highest priorities. “Last year, we invested more than £6million, opened up 405km of new habitat for fish, rescued 80,000 from pollution, checked 62,000 rod licences, and successfully prosecuted 2,043 people who were fishing illegally.
“Our report into the River Glen’s fish population is good evidence of how our work pays off, with the river supporting 16 different species.”
Anyone caught fishing illegally and then prosecuted could be fined up to £2,500, as well as up to £50,000 for Environment Agency byelaw offences.
Last year, the Agency prosecuted more than 1,900 anglers for rod and line offences resulting in fines and costs in excess of £500,000.
Chief Inspector Jim Tyner, the force’s tactical lead on wildlife crime, said: “We carry out joint patrols with the Environment Agency and the Trust’s water bailiffs as part of Operation Traverse.
“Our resources are limited so we rely on the angling community to report incidents to us so that we know where to target our patrols.”
Anyone with information about illegal fishing activities can call the Environment Agency Incident Hotline on 0800 80 70 60 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.