The Environment Agency has launched a month-long enforcement campaign to crack down on illegal fishing and poaching while encouraging everyone to try angling during National Fishing Month.

Planned enforcement action will build on efforts to prevent crime and anti-social behaviour on river banks.

Operation Lungfish is designed to protect fisheries from harmful activity including theft and fishing with illegal traps. Enforcement officers from the Environment Agency can be joined by the Angling Trust, voluntary bailiffs and local police officers to conduct patrols around rivers, lakes and ponds and has already carried out a range of action around the country in its first two weeks.

It runs alongside two key activities in the angling calendar – National Fishing Month (July 24th to August 30th) and Take a Friend Fishing 2021 (July 25th to 5September 5th).

These events encourage people to visit the riverbank and give fishing a go, with the month of action targeting those abusing the rules that protect England’s fisheries.

Heidi Stone, Environment Agency fisheries partnerships manager, said: “We encourage everyone to give fishing a go this summer and throughout this month, existing fishing licence holders can take a friend fishing by applying for a free day licence.

“As law-abiding anglers know, illegal fishing and anti-social behaviour on our banks is not only harmful to fish populations but can also have a detrimental effect on the environment and surrounding wildlife.

“We are working closely with our partners on Operation Lungfish to ensure that fishing licence income is used to protect fisheries and make angling a great experience for all.”

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