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Post  Eric Edwards on Wed Jan 23, 2013 8:14 pm


On Sunday, two members of Pike Angler's Club region 31 South Lancashire discovered a gill net in the river Mersey. The net contained pike to 9lbs, carp to 18lbs, bream to 5lbs and some other fish. They released the fish then contacted the EA who sent a warden out who took the net away.

Next morning I contacted the head of fisheries in the northwest and acquainted him with the situation. The EA acted swiftly and decisively sending a team out in a boat who discovered more nets, also full of fish, most of which were released alive. They then called in reinforcements from other regions and mounted a two-night surveillance operation (in sub-zero temperatures) which resulted in them making arrests.

The EA have released the following statement;


"Acting on good intelligence regarding the presence of illegal nets on the River Mersey. The Environment Agency Fisheries and Biodiversity teams have over the last few days undertaken an enforcement operation to gather further evidence.

As a result of the operation two arrests have been made and a casefile will now be prepared for consideration by our legal team.

Due to the on going development of the case we are unable to share any more information at this time. The support of the local angling community in this operation has however been exceptional and their support is much appreciated."

This is a great result for the PAC, for the EA and for the two members who acted in exactly the correct manner. Let's hope the EA are going to be able to make the charges stick and that this sends a message out to any other prospective fish thieves.
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Post  welsh piker on Wed Jan 23, 2013 8:53 pm

Thats good news.Eric.... Lets hope that a case will be made, but sadly i dout it..
This case is a drop in the ocean to whats really going on out there...But praise to the anglers for reporting it...In most cases, these people get away with it.
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Post  Hamboner on Wed Jan 23, 2013 8:55 pm

As a kid I remember the local river getting netted near the time salmon were running through and that was 20 years ago, just proves that it has been happening for years and all over britain.
It's sickening really.

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Post  Eric Edwards on Wed Jan 23, 2013 9:02 pm

welsh piker wrote:Thats good news.Eric.... Lets hope that a case will be made, but sadly i dout it..
This case is a drop in the ocean to whats really going on out there...But praise to the anglers for reporting it...In most cases, these people get away with it.

I don't agree. These people are not anglers, they are criminals, and they have doubtless done the same thing to water after water. It's just not the case that most people would do this, whatever their circumstance, it's a minority but they seem to be more than they are because they do it again and again. If we can stop these two then that's a real result - and what's more, it sends out a powerful signal to othet would-be criminals.


Last edited by Eric Edwards on Wed Jan 23, 2013 9:03 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : typo)
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Post  welsh piker on Wed Jan 23, 2013 9:36 pm

Thats the point Eric... criminals.... but what will they get????. If the law was enforced, then yes i would agree with you we'd see less of this mindless activity...If it was'nt for the genuine angler, then these people would be in greater numbers..... I would be greatfull if you could post what action will be taken to these people, and what punishment they will get..
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Post  Eric Edwards on Wed Jan 23, 2013 9:42 pm

I'll let it be known what happens as soon as I know myself. The biggest problem we have as anglers is our own apathy, too many people moan and whinge on internet forums but don't actually do anything. Lots and lots of instances of netting, longlines and illegal fish poaching just get a shrug of the shoulders - these two guys actually did something and if we all did something our sport would benefit from it.
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Post  welsh piker on Wed Jan 23, 2013 9:54 pm

Eric Edwards wrote:I'll let it be known what happens as soon as I know myself. The biggest problem we have as anglers is our own apathy, too many people moan and whinge on internet forums but don't actually do anything. Lots and lots of instances of netting, longlines and illegal fish poaching just get a shrug of the shoulders - these two guys actually did something and if we all did something our sport would benefit from it.

Thank you Eric.... While we on the subject, Remember this point, while i'd encourage anyone who see's anyone,or thing of illegal fishing, or poaching, some of these criminals are mindless thugs... I know of one incident where other anglers were threatend with knives... Mad Mad ..
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Post  kell on Thu Jan 24, 2013 3:56 am

Eric Edwards wrote:I'll let it be known what happens as soon as I know myself. The biggest problem we have as anglers is our own apathy, too many people moan and whinge on internet forums but don't actually do anything. Lots and lots of instances of netting, longlines and illegal fish poaching just get a shrug of the shoulders - these two guys actually did something and if we all did something our sport would benefit from it.

The biggest problem we have is that half the time illegal fishing is reported the ea do squat and that is a FACT ! So in the end I just seems a waste of time.
I for one would not bother as I know first hand they are useless.
Ask the folk in Rotherham who have a guy with pics on Facebook and pike in the bath what they are doing how easy would that be and they would not need to watch for two days to see who he was .
Now this may sound daft but do salmon run up the Mersey because if they do therein may be your answer.
Also when they are caught nothing is done ask the sprotbourgh wier anglers the guys were caught netting that place I can tell you the outcome nothing.
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Post  Eric Edwards on Thu Jan 24, 2013 9:08 am

Talk to the EA yourself and you'll find out why little is done - it's because very little gets reported. All people want to do is moan and complain to each other and if anything does get to the EA's ears it's usually bad information received too late. We have a great working relationship with our local EA, one we've taken time to build up, and as a result, they listen to us when we talk to them. It helps too that the EA officer who led this operation is a keen piker and has helped out at our PAC coaching sessions in the past.
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Post  kell on Thu Jan 24, 2013 2:04 pm

I am talking from first hand experiance i sat and watched as two guys were catching fish and putting them into carrier bags then hid them about fifty yards from where they were catching them.
i called the ea and said they would have someone out . I sat in a bush for the best part of 1 1/2 hours and not a soul showed up.
Was i sat in the wrong bush or should i have beaten the jungle drums pray tell ?
or are our ea officers intrested in bird watching and i should have said they were killing ducks ? please tell me as i would love to know how to communicate with them because i am obviously doing it wrong.
EA ears dont make me laugh what about the guy on facebook come on lets see them get going on that then
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Post  Lefty on Thu Jan 24, 2013 8:11 pm

I've heard the same as what Kell is saying time and time again.

People are disgruntled with the EA because of there appearing to be nothing done about it. It's a vicious circle really - you report it, they don't do anything, why should you report it, nothing will come of it.

I'm not taking any sides because I don't have any first-hand experience of it but I have heard many many times of reports not appearing to be followed up. Yes the EA have some fantastic results in other areas but I've also heard lots of times that they are severely understaffed when it comes to bailiffs. Maybe that is the problem?

But, before you jump in and say "yeah, that's what it is, understaffed", I have also heard more times than I care to remember "you can't go fishing on my local stretch of river and not see a EA bailiff".

What I can say is that I have been fishing since a nipper and have NEVER been approached by an EA member of staff.
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Post  Eric Edwards on Thu Jan 24, 2013 9:04 pm

Ok yes you're right, we should just give up then.
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Post  welsh piker on Thu Jan 24, 2013 9:24 pm

Eric Edwards wrote:Ok yes you're right, we should just give up then.

Eric, it's not a case of ' Let's give up.'.... It's people's view, on what is a very if we 're honest, A VERY HOT TOPIC.... Exclamation Exclamation

And like you said earlier on your post. forums are one place where people air the views...
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Post  adie1200 on Thu Jan 24, 2013 10:47 pm

I've phoned the EA a few times and spent more time giving them my details before they would even take the details of what i was reporting and then there was no follow up from them oh apart from one were i reported 2 foreign blokes fishing for pike on the river don out of season and they as always said someone would deal with it as soon as possible lol 10 days later and i kid you not i got a call from a EA officer asking me where they were fishing Shocked i asked him why he wanted to know where they were fishing and he said he was hoping to catch them Rolling Eyes Rolling Eyes
I told him they might have gone now as it was 10 days since i reported it Rolling Eyes he said he had only just been told about it affraid

A lake close to me a good mate who i know i can trust to be honest rang me for the EA number as there were 3 poles with at least 4 rods out each and everything they caught went into a bag he rang them and they told him theres was nothing they could do about it today Rolling Eyes
So you can see why theres a lot of resentment towards the EA and thats just a example from around Doncaster !

Its great that they dealt with the ones they caught on the Mersey and i hope the courts give them what they deserve !

Everyone has their own thoughts and opinions on these matters so don't get upset when some don't agree with your views Eric
Sometimes you just have to agree to disagree Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy

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Post  Eric Edwards on Fri Jan 25, 2013 12:02 am

Yes let's disagree. You lot over in Yorkshire can give up and let your fisheries be ruined, over this side of the pennines we've built up a meaningful dialogue with the EA, we know who to contact (personal mobile numbers, not a central switchboard), we have faces to put to names and so do they. When they hold a meeting or a seminar we go along, when we have a problem they come along. When we have a coaching session the EA officers come and help, when the EA have a problem with pikers they speak to us.

All the negative whingeing in the world will get you precisely nowhere, meanwhile we'll be calling in EA officers from other areas (yours in this case) to help sort out our problems so let's continue to disagree, and we'll make progress while you won't.
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Post  kell on Fri Jan 25, 2013 5:20 am

whingeing why are we I have told you where they can find hard evidence of someone catching pike and displaying them on the internet, And you don’t even refer to it so why don’t you take up this cause and have a word with the wonder boys over in lancs and tell them to sort it out ?
I'll tell you why because YOU know they will not so don’t sit there spouting sh1t do summat about it, I HAVE ? instead of sitting in some meeting listening to people spouting on about the aperthy in Yorkshire We are sick of what goes on with the pike waters been destroyed and nothing been done about it,but I now think I know why ,They are sat on there ar5es talking to you lot.
And why when we meet Lancashire pikers on our banks (everyone’s banks) that they complain of exactly the same in Lancashire ?
Do summat or shut up because the only one spouting crap as far as I can see is YOU

We do winge in Yorkshire but when the going gets tough who would you rather have stood at the side of you
Remember 1461 ?

http://www.the-pikers-pit.com/t11213-huge-net-found-in-river take a look at this thread are the pikers of peterbough doing nowt as well and a quick search proves it is the same all over the country ? but obviously not in lancashire get real?
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Post  Eric Edwards on Fri Jan 25, 2013 8:38 am

...but I have done something. My involvement with the Mersey situation was considerable, both before the fact and during the operation. I'm here looking after my own interests I'm not going to look after yours as well. If you've got pictures of pike in the bath then YOU do something with them, I haven't even seen them.
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Post  adie1200 on Fri Jan 25, 2013 10:00 am

Eric Edwards wrote:Yes let's disagree. You lot over in Yorkshire can give up and let your fisheries be ruined, over this side of the pennines we've built up a meaningful dialogue with the EA, we know who to contact (personal mobile numbers, not a central switchboard), we have faces to put to names and so do they. When they hold a meeting or a seminar we go along, when we have a problem they come along. When we have a coaching session the EA officers come and help, when the EA have a problem with pikers they speak to us.

All the negative whingeing in the world will get you precisely nowhere, meanwhile we'll be calling in EA officers from other areas (yours in this case) to help sort out our problems so let's continue to disagree, and we'll make progress while you won't.

Eric this wasn't aimed at you so why are you making it personal Question you say you do something about it !! good for you but isn't phoning them and reporting an incident doing something about it Question

If its reported they should do something about it whether you are a PAC member or not or have friends in the EA
its their job to act on these reports regardless of who makes the report !
As for whinging lol i don't think anyone is whinging Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy

Please don't let this get out of hand
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Post  Eric Edwards on Fri Jan 25, 2013 10:12 am

I'm not taking it personally Adie but all too often stories go round and round in circles on forums such as this one with people moaning about this not being done or that not being done when in the end, it's because nobody's done anything but complain to each other. Talk to your local fisheries team and ask them how many complaints they've actually had about poaching and I bet you'll be shocked by the answer. Resources aren't being put into this for the simple reason that too few complaints are made and when they are, the information is often of poor quality and/or the trail has gone cold.

One of the most important things we had to do this week was to keep the info. about the mersey nets from getting out. It was already up on forums and facebook and several people were going round telling others. If that had got to the eyes and ears of the poachers then the surveillance operation would have been a waste of time, as it was, we managed to seal off the loose ends and the operation went ahead.
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Post  stubbo on Fri Jan 25, 2013 10:23 am

this case needs more exsposure in the local papaers even on the tele let it send out a very clear message ...anyone who thinks they can just take our fish for what ever reason will be prosecuted and even jailed thats what it needs......high profile
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Post  kell on Fri Jan 25, 2013 11:48 am

and what will happen too them lets wait and see Nowt is my bet ?

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Post  stubbo on Fri Jan 25, 2013 1:57 pm

kell wrote:and what will happen too them lets wait and see Nowt is my bet ?

hope your wrong kell ...it will be a travisty if these people are not shown a lesson all eyes on this then if nothing done on this it will look bad on the E.A for starters and piking in general
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Post  welsh piker on Fri Jan 25, 2013 3:00 pm

The way i see it.... its a hot topic!!! and everyone as either had an experiance, or knows of something thats as had a effect near them...

Seems some Areas are better acting on info,than others...

Out of intrest Kell.. What happened in 1461... just a bit before my time...
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Post  kell on Fri Jan 25, 2013 3:08 pm

pmsl that was when the yorkshire men gave the lancashire men a good spanking war of the roses they came back in 1471 and we kicked butt again pmsl

So you see we do not just winge but we kick ar5e when needed lol! lol! lol! cheers

In the olympics we would have been a country in our own right ? lol!

What have the lancs lot got a buck tooth comedian from notty ash lol! lol! lol! lol! lol! lol! lol! lol! lol! lol! lol! lol!
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Post  tomthepiker on Fri Jan 25, 2013 5:10 pm

You could do it the southerners Way there's a local pond near me where the polish were taking carp out and putting them straight into a bin the farmer/baliif saw them set alight to there car and phoned the police telling them that someone had set fire to a car in his field haha the police came saw what they were doing and they got arrested I'm not sure what happened after that
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