I understand that a number of local anglers have fallen foul of the Environment Agency enforcement team in the last week.

We are now in April which means that a new rod licence is required. While the permit is annual it does not run from January to January, nor does it expire 12 months after purchase. Anglers who are wanting to target migratory fish such as trout and salmon in our local rivers should note that they need to purchase the appropriate licence. A licence for coarse fish costs just £23 per annum and can be purchased from the Post Office.

Reports from Laybourne Lakes indicate that some fish are showing signs of a fungal growth.

Fish wear and tear is often quite prevalent at this time of year as the annual spawning ritual takes place. Bacteria and other fungal-type infections are also multiplying rapidly in the water as temperatures start to rise. Anglers can do their bit to help and should heed the two-net rule at Laybourne Lakes. All carp are to be retained in a separate net from other 'silver' fish and no fish should be confined for longer than the duration of the average five-hour match.

Fish should also be handled with extra care at this time of year as damage to their protective mucus covering can render them susceptible to infection from water-borne parasites and infections. Fish should not be handled with dry hands or cloths. Both should be wet to avoid removing the defences of the fish.

Night fishing is likely to be an increasingly popular pursuit in the coming weeks with the onset of warmer evenings and a rise in activity of traditional nocturnal targets such as tench and carp.

Paper permits are no longer issued for York Amalgamation fisheries. However, anglers are requested to advise the Waters Secretary where and when they intend to fish.

Anglers fishing at Park View during the hours of darkness should be aware that the car park at the secluded venue has allegedly been the scene of recent 'illicit' activity. Individuals entering Amalgamation property without permission are committing an offence whether engaging in unlawful pursuits or not and should be challenged. Anglers who have any reservations about confronting individuals should not hesitate to contact the local constabulary.

Norman Dixon called this week from Langwith Lakes. The Heslington venue is to hold a 30-peg open on May 1. Tickets can be reserved by calling Dixon on 07967 522402.

Stonebridge yields big catches

YORK angler Mark Sizer pulled out the biggest fish from the Carp Lake at Stonebridge Lakes.

He hauled out a 16lb 8oz mirror carp as North Yorkshire anglers enjoyed good catches.

Selby's Les Coleman hooked a 16lb 4oz golden trout at Stonebridge, while Northallerton's Brendan Parker won the Troutmaster fish-off with 20 fish from the Hargill Lake at the Stonebridge complex with another Northallerton rod, Nigel Brown, in fourth place with 17 fish.

Updated: 08:45 Friday, April 23, 2004