Two men have been reported for summons for illegal fishing in Northumberland.
Environment Agency officers received a report of men fishing without a licence near to Wylam Bridge at around 6pm on Monday, March 14.
They attended with the support of Northumbria Police officers.
Two of the men – aged 43 and 38 - were subsequently reported for summons for illegal fishing. Three fishing rods and other associated equipment were seized.
Officers from the Environment Agency will also be out patrolling north east rivers from the Tees to the Coquet this weekend on the look-out for anglers fishing illegally.
Anglers are being reminded that fishing for coarse fish in rivers is off limits until June 16 and anyone caught fishing illegally can expect to be prosecuted and face a fine.
The three-month break from March 15 is designed to protect breeding fish.
The Environment Agency team will also be ensuring those fishing in the many lakes, ponds and canals where coarse fishing is still allowed have a valid rod licence.
And they’ll be on the look-out for those using illegal baits, and banned methods of fishing and fishing in prohibited areas.
The Environment Agency’s Fisheries Technical Specialist in the North East, Kevin Summerson, said:
We take reports of illegal fishing seriously and work closely with police and local angling clubs to take action where appropriate. We’ll continue to target all aspects of illegal fishing activity.
Anyone discovered committing offences could face a substantial fine at court.
All income from rod licence sales is used to fund Environment Agency work to protect and improve fish stocks and fisheries, including improving habitats for fish and facilities for anglers, tackling illegal fishing and working with partners to encourage people to give fishing a go.
Buying a rod licence is quick and easy - you can buy them online at the Post Office.
The Environment Agency urges anyone to report illegal fishing by calling 0800 80 70 60.