POLICE have today warned anglers not to go fishing during the close season.

If they do, and get caught, they could face fines of up to £50,000 depending on the severity of the offence.

The close season, between March 15 and 15 June, is when coarse angling is suspended on rivers, streams and some specified canals and still waters to protect spawning fish.

A police spokesman said: "Going fishing? We are asking anglers to make sure they know the law.

"The maximum fine for fishing illegally during the close season is £50,000.

"The majority of anglers follow the rules and enjoy finishing legally and with a license. Unfortunately there is a small minority that do break the law."

You can report anything suspicious by calling 101. Or call the Environment Agency incident hotline on 0800 80 70 60.

There are still opportunities to fish for coarse fish while rivers and streams are off limits.

The vast majority of still waters and canals will be open and anglers should check their local byelaws (www.gov.uk/government/collections/local-fishing-byelaws ) for the list of sites included within the statutory close season.

You can also find out where you can still fish locally via http://www.gethooked.co.uk/