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Close Season Fishing - Operation CLAMP DOWN

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Between 15 March and 15 June 2013, the Angling Trust Voluntary Bailiff Service, in partnership with the Environment Agency, will be running Operation CLAMP DOWN targeting illegal angling during the coarse fishing close season.

 


The Angling Trust report that:

The Voluntary Bailiff Service (VBS) is currently a pilot project in the Environment Agency South East Region (EASE), upon which geographic area Operation CLAMP DOWN will focus.


The Voluntary Bailiff Service (VBS) was launched in May 2012, comprising 29 Volunteer Bailiffs (VB) deployed into four 'Angling Watches' (AW), each overseen by an Area Co-ordinator (AC). Each AW has a dedicated EA Fisheries Enforcement Officer (FEO), with whom VBs work closely. In April 2013, a further 27 VBs will be inducted into the VBS, making a total of 56 VBs active in EASE.


At this stage VBs are involved with gathering intelligence on illegal fishing. The quantity and quality of information reports will be carefully analysed upon conclusion of CLAMP DOWN, and any successes publicised.


Although CLAMP DOWN specifically targets waters in EASE, anglers throughout England can contribute by reporting any offences in progress or useful information to the EA. Indeed, anglers are positively encouraged to contribute to this process and should call the EA on 0800 80 70 60.


Adrian Brightley, EASE Technical Specialist (Fisheries Enforcement) commented:


"All anglers are asked to report those fishing illegally out of season. Information received from VBs and the public will be invaluable and used to target patrols at known locations. Anglers caught fishing during the annual close season are all reported to our legal department and may face prosecution."


Angling Trust (AT) Fisheries Enforcement Manager Dilip Sarkar said:


"Both the ATr and EA recognise that poaching and fish theft are of great concern to many anglers. Anglers themselves are, in fact, our greatest resource given that we are out there on the bank in all weathers and possessed of immense local knowledge. The VBS provides an opportunity for anglers to get involved by giving just four hours of their time per week to support EA FEOs. Operation CLAMP DOWN is our response to dealing with those who break the law and fish illegally during the close season. Law enforcement today is intelligence driven, and providing information and reporting incidents is an absolutely essential process to which all anglers can contribute. By working together in this way, we can make a positive difference".


It is hoped that the next VBS development stage will see selected VBS given further training and the power to demand and inspect rod licences. Ultimately some VBs could become fully warranted and work in direct support of EA FEOs on High Impact Fisheries Enforcement operations. The pilot project in EASE is crucially important, providing a model applicable to other EA areas.


For further information, contact: Dilip Sarkar the Angling Trust Fisheries Enforcement Manager on office telephone: 01905 4209441, mobile telephone: 07971 677638 or email: dilip.sarkar@anglingtrust.net







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Comments (19 posted):

Fred Bonney on 07/03/2013 10:51:39
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Great initiative, and it's a start. Log the number in your mobile for reporting those that shouldn't be!
beerweasel on 07/03/2013 10:57:06
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Yep this is great news, now I have something to hunt in the close season. :D
Peter Jacobs on 07/03/2013 11:07:07
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About time is all I'd say. For the past 2 or 3 close seasons I've been reporting illegal fishing on my local stretches of the Hampshire Avon. Now, hopefully, something concrete can be done about it.
dangermouse on 07/03/2013 11:07:49
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You reading this Bob? :D
itsfishingnotcatching on 07/03/2013 12:04:05
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About time is all I'd say. For the past 2 or 3 close seasons I've been reporting illegal fishing on my local stretches of the Hampshire Avon. Now, hopefully, something concrete can be done about it. Yeah, I bet those bleddy otters and cormorants haven't even got a coarse license:D
Steve King on 07/03/2013 12:05:39
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You reading this Bob? :D I'll go and check out a certain stretch of the Wye and see if I can spot him!
tiinker on 07/03/2013 12:08:26
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I have reported close season fishing on a small river that I fish the ingreboune and the EA have raided it on sevral occaissions and caught a few at it bloody good job as well the more of these people that get hit the better it is not as though they have no where else to fish some people are never satisfied.
Fred Bonney on 07/03/2013 12:48:13
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tiinka, is that the Essex Ingrebourne ?
tiinker on 07/03/2013 17:35:44
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tiinka, is that the Essex Ingrebourne ? Yes it is rises near south weald park and runs into the thames at rainham creek it produces some nice fish the odd barbel to 4 pound chub to 7 pound I kid you not dace and perch and of course eels. The EA stocked it in 89 with chub dace and barbel They did the beam in dagenham at the same time but only chub and perch and of course eels along with mitten crabs and the odd crayfish not as good as the ingrebourne.Changed a bit since your day I bet.:)
Fred Bonney on 07/03/2013 18:28:48
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When I knew it, just a bit lower than South Weald(Paynes Brook) you could just about jump across in places at the age of 8 or 9, the trouble was those bits you couldn't, Mum wasn't too pleased!! I think I can remember sticklebacks.
tiinker on 07/03/2013 18:51:48
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When I knew it, just a bit lower than South Weald(Paynes Brook) you could just about jump across in places at the age of 8 or 9, the trouble was those bits you couldn't, Mum wasn't too pleased!! I think I can remember sticklebacks. Is that the bit that runs parallel with the A12 going towards Harold woodwith the railway on the far bank.
Fred Bonney on 07/03/2013 19:33:33
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A bit higher than that in Harold Hill, mostly underground now with houses built over it.
tiinker on 07/03/2013 19:43:25
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A bit higher than that in Harold Hill, mostly underground now with houses built over it. I mainly fish the lower reaches from the back of berwick down to the albion at dovers corner rainham. all that land is now a country park but not many people visit the bottom end its a bit wild.
Fred Bonney on 07/03/2013 19:53:06
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I don't think I've ever seen it from Harold Wood down, just checked it on Google, quite a bit of meandering!!
tiinker on 07/03/2013 20:05:44
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I don't think I've ever seen it from Harold Wood down, just checked it on Google, quite a bit of meandering!! Yes it is very similar to the Roding in character but about half the size the bit by Tesco in rainham held a lot of fish in the winter might be a bit warmer but never fished it a bit to popular for me. The part belw rainham is not accessable industrial area but a couple of my friend wh have worked in yards along there say they have seen plenty of fish there but not being able to fish it may not be a bad thing as the fish can always swim back upstream because the is no open outlet into the thames it is a tidal culvert only with a flood gate.
Ray Wood 1 on 07/03/2013 23:24:29
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Each year about 1.3 million freshwater rod-licences are sold, last year the EA checked over 80,000 licences and prosecuted over 2700 licence cheats. They also prosecuted 138 people for poaching offences. Given the numbers sold the ratio of licences checked appears to be low. I have not had my licence checked in the last thirty years. I have reported out of season fishing on numerous occasions directly to EA and the NRA its predecessor and the police. Not much joy with any of them to be honest, let's hope this programme has some effect. The VBS was launched in May 2012 but it appears existed in name only let's hope that when "Operation Clamp Down" becomes pro-active it will have the desired effect. Kind regards Ray
Judas Priest on 08/03/2013 07:37:10
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Slightly off tack I know but does anyone else find it a bit hypocritical of those who defend the retention of the Close season on rivers with such vigour, for many reasons, then go out and target spawn laden Stillwater species without a second thought during that same period.
john_h on 08/03/2013 08:24:18
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I have not had my licence checked in the last thirty years. EA very much seems to have annual set times for a licence check blitz. Twice in the last 7 or 8 years I've had mine checked at stillwater trout fisheries in early April. I've an idea that the two May Bank Holidays each year are the times they target commercial coarse lake fisheries.
Ray Wood 1 on 08/03/2013 20:56:42
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EA very much seems to have annual set times for a licence check blitz. Twice in the last 7 or 8 years I've had mine checked at stillwater trout fisheries in early April. I've an idea that the two May Bank Holidays each year are the times they target commercial coarse lake fisheries. If that's the case John no wonder so many get away with it and feel secure in the knowledge that the chances of being checked or challenged is remote. Regards Ray


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