A reminder to those fishing on the Broads – you need a licence

Now the summer crowds have left, the Broads have become a haven for fishing once more.

But three organisations who patrol the waterways are keen to remind people they must have a licence – or could face a hefty £2,500 fine.

The Environment Agency, Norfolk police's river crew – Broads Beat – and the Broads Authority regularly patrol the waterways together to monitor illegal fishing, anti-social behaviour and gather intelligence.

Now in full pike season, the team are looking for anyone flouting the law as fishing offences continue to rise.

This time last year the Environment Agency made 1,171 checks and issued 116 offence notices. This year there have already been 1,773 checks and 158 offences issues.

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Environment Agency fisheries enforcement officer Nick Beardmore, 51, explained: 'We go out and make sure everyone is licensed to fish on the Broads.

'If we see people fishing off the bank, cruisers or on private boats, we are making sure they have the right to fish.

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'The money we raise all goes back into the system to help maintain the broads. Going out with other agencies means I can get to places to I wouldn't normally get to.

'There are more and more people fishing on the Broads year on year and so we are seeing more people fishing illegally.'

A fishing rod licence is needed to fish for salmon, trout, freshwater fish, smelt and eel with a rod and line in England.

Broads Authority ranger Chris Morphew, 27, patrols from Wroxham to Irstead and makes sure by-laws on matters such as speeding are followed.

Together with Norfolk police's Broads Beat team, all three organisations have a joined-up approach which maintains the peace on the waterways.

Do you have a story about the Broads? Call Broads reporter Rosa McMahon 01603 772453.

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