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Fish poachers strike at Needham lake

PUBLISHED: 11:06 01 December 2001 | UPDATED: 10:58 03 March 2010

AN ANGLING club chairman says fish poachers are targeting the hugely popular Needham Market Lake, stealing valuable carp under the cover of darkness.

The Gipping Valley Angling Club, which has around 350 members, has released around 400 carp in the lake during the last five years.

AN ANGLING club chairman says fish poachers are targeting the hugely popular Needham Market Lake, stealing valuable carp under the cover of darkness.

The Gipping Valley Angling Club, which has around 350 members, has released around 400 carp in the lake during the last five years.

The fish's value can increase considerably once over 10lb in weight – now it has been claimed poachers have been visiting the lake at night and catching the common and mirror carp without licenses to cash in.

Club chairman Ian Wood said they had informed the police and had decided to remove the carp from the lake during the coming months and restock with other fish.

He said: "These fish can be worth a lot of money and that's why they are being targeted. You can get £100 for a certain size carp and they could be stolen to order, it's easy money for them.

"We are aware of a gang of at least seven fish rustlers who have visited Needham Lake and other sites. They come down to the lake and take what they want, they do not care about the welfare of the fish. Some fish are surplus to requirements and these are just dumped.

"It has come to the point where several nasty threats have been made to our bailiffs who patrol the lake voluntarily and we were concerned someone might get hurt.

"It's been a problem for us and has escalated during the last 12 months. They have been stealing them during the early hours of the morning and very late at night and we can't allow it to go on.''


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