Illegal night fishers at Lodges told ‘don’t bother’

Members of Withnell Angling Club, from left, Dave Cox and Steve Chick
Members of Withnell Angling Club, from left, Dave Cox and Steve Chick
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Measures are being put in place to tackle illegal night fishing at Farington’s contaminated Lodges.

Complaints have been made to police and South Ribble Council, which owns the site, that non-members are using the site at the end of Lodge Lane under the cover of darkness.

The three lodges are currently being assessed by the Environment Agency after a fire at nearby Whitfire Ltd, a wood shavings and sawdust supplier, caused run-off to de-oxygenate the water, leaving hundreds of fish dead.

Dave Cox, secretary of Withnell Angling Club, which runs the fishing operation, said: “The night time fishing has been a problem, but South Ribble Council has been very helpful and we now have a gate to help us keep people out, and in the immediate future we’ll be putting a lock on that.

“The levels in the waters are being monitored and are slowly improving.

“When they get a certain level, we will be re-stocking the lodges with fish, and we’re hopeful that will be early next year.

“So it’s not even worth the bother of illegal fishing - it’s not worth it.”

The lodges were made out of bounds as a safety precaution for several days after fish were found dead or gasping for air at the site in late June.

Volunteers and club members set to work trying to rescue fish and the Environment Agency moved into the site with six aeration units to raise oxygen levels.

The club informed members that the lodges were closed for fishing on July 2. It was reinstated for a small area on July 22, but only to members, with day tickets not being sold.

Farington neighbourhood police officers have been unavailable for comment.