ANGLERS are being encouraged to renew their licences after they expired last week (31 March).
Around 450 people were prosecuted in Yorkshire last year after being caught without a licence, resulting in more than £100,00 in fines and court costs.
Environment Agency (EA) spokesperson Alex Holderness said: “The Esk valley catchment is one of the best and we want people not to let that slip.
“The Esk area is on of the highlights where people seem to be sticking to the rules and we want to use this opportunity to make sure it continues.”
The EA officers questioned 17,000 anglers last year and Peter Mischenko, fisheries technical officer for the Environment Agency in Yorkshire, said: “Our officers are out and about and will report any person caught contravening any fisheries legislation.
“This year we will be working closer than every with fisheries owners and angling clubs to ensure that any rule breakers are reported and dealt with accordingly.”
Those who fish without a licence can face prosecution and a maximum fine of £2,500, with the potential for forfeiture of fishing equipment and even a ban on holding a fishing licence for up to five years,
Licences are available at Post Offices, online from the Environment Agency at www.environment-agency.gov.uk/rodlicence or by telephone on 0844 8005386.