IN spite of the fall in sales of rod licences, the Environment Agency (EA) has continued to spend on Yorkshire fisheries improvements to the tune of over £318,000 during the last financial year.

Together with other organisations, the total investment amounted to just under £800,000.

Work included the removal of two weirs and the installation of ten fish passes on rivers which opened up 94 km (59 miles) of new habitat or spawning grounds.

The EA also responded to 25 fisheries incidents and three fish disease incidents. Finance was also used to support the and the Angling Trust’s

In 2017 the Fisheries Improvement Programme projects will be committing further rod licence income to work currently under way in the River Aire catchment.

These include the installation of in-stream habitat, building stock-proof fencing, weir notching and bank repair.

Sites include the Kirby and Goredale becks at Malham as well as the Aire itself at Gargrave and Carleton-in-Craven. The Bradford City AA, Skipton AA and the Wild Trout Trust will be partners.

Efforts to prevent rod licence evasion during the last quarter of 2016 resulted in 45 anglers being reported for fisheries offences.

Penalties for fisheries offences in Yorkshire are some of the highest in the country.

*£1,858 for fishing without a licence and failing to attend court

*£597 for fishing without a licence in the close season.

*£427 for failing to provide a name and address to an enforcement officer

*£377 for an angler caught fishing without a licence by a police officer.

The extremely poor weather last weekend probably saw no anglers wetting a line at any of the local waters although conditions should be much improved for this coming weekend with a forecast of double figure temperatures.

Whinnygill Reservoir could provide some good sport with the roach, rudd, bream, perch and even the brown trout that were beginning to move before the advent of the cold spell.

A rare eel was almost landed by 15-year-old James Daggett but it cast the hook on being brought to the net.

River fishermen may also find some decent sport on the Aire as the water level is ideal for fishing at the moment.

Grayling are numerous throughout the Skipton length and the Snaygill deep-water length is more than suitable for some pike fishing.