Reminder to anglers over three-month ‘close season’

Coarse fishing
Coarse fishing
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Lancashire anglers are being reminded the ‘close season’ for coarse fish in rivers comes into effect on the 15 March.

Every year, the close season prevents fishing for coarse fish, like barbel and chub, for three months to give the fish a chance to breed.

Judy Proctor, head of fisheries at the Environment Agency, said: “Our job is to protect fish stocks and improve fisheries. This includes rescuing fish in distress, improving habitat and restocking rivers with 450,000 fish a year.

“However, one of the best things we can do is simply to leave the fish alone during the spring allowing them the opportunity to breed so that we have healthy stocks in the future.”

During the close season, the Environment Agency’s specialist enforcement teams rigorously police illegal fishing. In the first few weeks of last year’s close season, officers carried out more than 380 targeted patrols and found more than 70 people fishing on waters off-limits.

Darren Bedworth, senior fisheries enforcement officer for the Environment Agency’s Lancashire and Cumbria area, said: “Our enforcement teams will again be patrolling the rivers of Lancashire and Cumbria, using local knowledge and intelligence to deter anglers from fishing in the close season. We will also be patrolling the still-waters where anglers are not restricted by the close season to check anglers are fishing, legally, with fishing rod licences.”

Anyone who wants to go fishing needs to buy a fishing licence, which go on sale in April.

A full annual licence costs £30 and are available online at www.gov.uk/get-a-fishing-licence.