At the end of July 2021, I was made aware by one of our members that a couple of people had been fishing at Black Bottom pond and had caught the big Koi in there. This was then posted on Instagram and on various Facebook pages by the people involved. Our member also supplied me with the information and screen shots to back this up. I checked our membership database and discovered that they were not club members. I contacted them privately and told them that if they were caught again by our bailiff team, we would remove all of their fishing gear on the spot and inform the police to look at prosecuting them. The bailiff team were contacted about this and were happy with this action.
I mentioned this to my brother Andy, and he went straight to the police and the EA with the evidence. Both were very helpful, and over the following week we supplied them with various information as requested. We were given a crime incident number related to ‘theft of fishing rights’.
I am pleased to say that today, 08/08/2021 the police made a surprise visit to the home of the culprits. They were worried that the police were about to remove all of their fishing tackle and immediately owned up to the crime, which was a perfect result. The police have issued them with an Exclusion notice from all of our waters. The police also said that our bailiff team have permission to remove their fishing equipment if they are caught again.
As a club, we take poaching and ‘guesting’ of our waters very seriously. We have had fish stolen in the past and managed to sort out that problem back then as well.
Please can all members stay vigilant and report anything they see to either our Head bailiff, or Fishery Officer.
Ian Petch, H&DAA Secretary.