Angling club bailiffs
The role that angling clubs’ bailiffs play in looking after our fisheries is vital. Not least for spotting illegal fishing or pollution issues. But did you know many of them are volunteers?
Angling club bailiffs are legally ‘water keepers’. They don’t have any special legal powers. However, they do carry out the authority of their employer (although most are actually volunteers), which is the fishery owner or angling club to whom they report. The water keeper has the power to prevent the civil wrong of trespass.
When an angler breaks the fishery rules, such as using a bait or method not allowed as part of the permission granted with their fishing permit, then this makes the offending angler a trespasser in law. That’s why the wording used by fishery owners and angling clubs on their permits is important. It allows water keepers to check anglers’ permits, tackle and boxes.
What else do angling club bailiffs do?
FISH IN DISTRESS
Angling club bailiffs are often the first to notice pollution or fish in distress in our waterways. Whether it’s a ‘light diesel rainbow sheen’ or something more serious that has killed or caused distress to fish, the club bailiffs, like any member of the public, should report the matter immediately to the relevant authorities.
Where fish are clearly in distress, please contact us too, as it’s also our responsibility to rescue distressed fish on our waterways.
Stealing of fish using rod and line
Catching a fish by rod and line and then taking it away from one of our canals, rivers or fisheries is theft. If you see someone stealing fish, report it to the police immediately by calling 101.