A NEW volunteer bailiff group has managed to rescue fish from poachers.
Fishery Watch founder Adrian Lane managed to stop two men who were attempting to steal fish from a free fishing venue in Gloucestershire.
Adrian, aged 56, from nearby Lydney, explained: “I received a phone call from a member of the public at 5pm, saying that people with lights on their heads were at Marion’s Pool, in Coleford, so I quickly attended.
“I would have liked some support, but two calls to local helpers were not answered, so I decided to get down there myself.
“There is only one way into that fishery, and as soon as my car was spotted, two people with eastern European accents shouted at each other and ran through bushes.
“I quickly went to the peg that they were on, and saw a carp landing net that was held down by a large rock.
“In it were about 30 roach, tench, four carp to 6 lb and a large pike of just over 10 lb, which I safely released.
“I have reported the incident to the Environment Agency and the local Police.
“It was a quality net, which I retained for evidence, and could be put to good uses.
“The venue is in the Forest of Dean, owned by the Forestry Commission, and is currently free to fish.”
Fishery Watch progress so far
Adrian explained how Fishery Watch is progressing.
“This was our first successful operation, although I have also heard of a similar event in Oxfordshire, our waterkeeper saving fish from poachers,” he said.
“Our organisation has really taken off, with a number of area co-ordinators already appointed, including in Wales.
“We also have a growing number of members, 1,200 followers on Facebook, and it is growing by ten a day, and we have just had our first public meeting.
“We have had six fisheries that are experiencing problems contact us for help, asking us to monitor their waters, including our first trout water.
“I have also contacted several local authorities with public park venues, and they are interested in what we can offer.”
Adrian added: “We are also beginning to raise funds to support the organisation.
“Our target is £3,000, which is all that we need to run it for a year.
“Any help with this would be much appreciated,” concluded the Fishery Watch leader, who is a former area co-ordinator of the Angling Trust’s Voluntary Bailiff Service.
For anyone wishing to help Fishery Watch, they can be contacted on 01594 888134.
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