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Warning to anglers after 23 prosecutions

PUBLISHED: 15:07 21 May 2009 | UPDATED: 09:41 06 July 2010

Anglers in Norfolk were today warned not to fish in restricted areas after 23 anglers were prosecuted at King's Lynn Magistrates' Court yesterday.

The anglers ignored no fishing signs and the Environment Agency (EA) has warned that fishing along the Stoke Ferry Cut Off Channel is banned for safety reasons.

Anglers in Norfolk were today warned not to fish in restricted areas after 23 anglers were prosecuted at King's Lynn Magistrates' Court yesterday.

The anglers ignored no fishing signs and the Environment Agency (EA) has warned that fishing along the Stoke Ferry Cut Off Channel is banned for safety reasons.

The 23 anglers were booked at Stoke Ferry by EA bailiffs between October 2008 and January 2009, despite notices nearby stating that fishing was not allowed.

Twenty anglers were fined £115 each for fishing in a prohibited area and three anglers were charged £135, £175 and £235 for fishing in a prohibited area and other additional offences.

The EA said that fishing is not allowed between Wretton Bridge and Barton Mills because the banks of the channel are chalk based and steep with no ledges, and when they are wet they become slippery.

A fishing licence allows people to use a rod and line but does not give them the right to fish and they still need the fishery owner's permission.

There is a stretch of the Cut Off Channel where it is safe to fish, which is leased to King's Lynn Angling Club between the Denver Sluice and Wretton Bridge.

Mick Robinson, an EA officer and bailiff, said: “Beyond that to Barton Mills it is not safe. If someone slips into the water they would struggle to get out again because of the slippery banks.

“We don't want to keep booking people but we need to get the message out that it is not safe to fish from these banks. We have looked at leasing out the fishing rights but due to insurance problems we are unable to do so. We want people to fish both legally and safely.”

There are warning signs at the aquaduct gate and the Stoke Ferry Anglian Water sluice site where some people park, as well as on other gates.

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