ANGLERS across the North East are being reminded that rivers are off-limits until June 15, as the close season kicks in.
The Environment Agency is warning anyone thinking of going fishing in rivers that the coarse-fishing season will be closed and anyone caught breaking the rules may be prosecuted. Fishing is still permitted on many canals and stillwaters, depending on landowner agreement.
Kevin Summerson, special enforcement team leader at the Environment Agency said: “The river close season for coarse fishing is there for a reason.
“By preventing coarse fishing for three months, it allows for an uninterrupted spawning period which increases spawning success and provides wider environmental benefits.
“Our fisheries enforcement officers will be doing regular patrols of waters during the close season and anyone found fishing illegally may face prosecution and a hefty fine.”
All anglers need a valid Environment Agency rod licence which allows them to use up to two rods. Rod licences run from April 1 to March 31 and fishing without one can also lead to a substantial fine.
Illegal fishing should be reported to the Environment Agency’s Incident Hotline on 0800 80 70 60.
Licences can be bought using a credit or debit card from the Environment Agency on 0844 800 5386 or from any Post Office or via the internet at www.environment-agency.gov.uk/rodlicence