LOCAL anglers and the Pike Anglers Club are campaigning for the Environment Agency to stop illegal poaching on a popular day ticket lake – and say the government body aren’t doing enough for law-abiding rod licence holders.
They are furious the EA are seemingly doing nothing to stop Eastern Europeans taking prime carp, chub, perch and pike from £7-a-day Chelmsford Park Lake in Essex using dead lines as well as conventional tackle.
And the EA didn’t turn up for a meeting held at the lake despite being invited alongside the local MP and the Angling Trust.
Protest group co-ordinator Aidan Skinner, 20, told Angler’s Mail: “The problem has been going on for months and the EA have taken no action despite 36 reports to them and two crime numbers to the police.
“A group of us got together using social media and decided to take matters into our own hands and patrol the lake ourselves. Long lines have been discovered and we probably see people fishing there illegally one or two times a day.
Long-standing Chelmsford Conservative MP Sir Simon Burns met with the group at the lake and is supporting their efforts, and he has written to Essex Police and the EA to find out what more they are prepared to do to tackle this growing problem.
EA spokesman George Leigh told the Mail: “From May 16, we received 12 calls to our incident hotline about alleged poaching in Central Park Lake.
“We visited the site and other locations on the River Chelmer on Friday, May 20 and are continuing with investigations including random spot checks.”
“We track criminals on an intelligence-led basis using information gathered by ourselves, partner organisations and reports from the public. We urge anyone to report illegal fishing as quickly as possible by calling our incident hotline on 0800 80 70 60.”
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