Fishermen urged to report illegal fishing on the Gipping River
7:00 p.m. January 8, 2022
Suffolk anglers are urged to contact police over illegal fishing following increased reports along the Gipping River in recent weeks.
Sergeant Brian Calver, of the Suffolk Police Rural Crime Team, said fish poaching is not only limited to rural areas, but is also widespread in towns that have watercourse.
Sgt Calver said the force had recently received reports along the stretch of Gipping between Needham Market and Claydon, but that illegal fishing was also taking place in Ipswich.
He said: “In essence a lot of Gipping is run by clubs, they lease the rights to the angling.
“We have recently received reports of illegal fishing, we have a lot in Ipswich. We often receive reports near the Yarmouth Road Bridge towards Sproughton.
“You talk about things like landlines, illegal nets, people throwing nets across the river, and these are people who usually take the fish for food.
“Club waters have their rules in place, you can legally take wild fish from a river under certain circumstances, but these people take whatever they can get for food.”
Illegal fishing has broader implications, added Sgt Calver.
For example, a carp specimen can be worth over £ 10,000 and the cost of replacing that fish can have a huge impact on businesses and clubs if it is stolen.
“We recently had quite a few reports of the section between Needham Market and Claydon, that kind of area, not just nets, but people have been seen picking up pike from there,” added Sgt Calver.
“At the end of the day, they don’t have permission to be there. They are not members of the club, we know from research done by the Environment Agency that these people we suspect are not do not have a valid cane license either.
“A lot of people might think ‘well, that’s just a few fish’, but that has a huge impact on the ecological balance and membership in these clubs.
“If big fish are taken out of these rivers, it becomes less attractive for people to want to join this club, so they lose their membership.”
Sergeant Calver urged anyone with information about illegal fishing to report it to police on 101, citing Operation Traverse or the Environment Agency on 0800 807060.