Polish anglers frequenting the River Welland around Spalding have told local reporters that they won’t be taking fish they catch home for the pot any more, or fishing without a valid licence.

One told a journalist from the Spalding Guardian: “In Poland we are allowed to fish and take them home to eat without a licence. But we just do it for recreation and to have a nice time with friends. It’s just not worth taking the risk of getting a £3,000 fine.”

A poster promoting the Operation Traverse – an Angling Trust initiative led by the police in partnership with the Environment Agency and the Angling Trust aimed at stopping anglers fishing without a £27 licence – was this week placed on the Holland Road footbridge.

The key driver of Operation Traverse is to educate anglers, in particular those for whom English is not their first language and may be used to rules different to ours, about the consequences of illegal fishing.

In 2013-2014 the Environment Agency checked 80,000 rod licences and prosecuted 2,795 anglers for fishing without a licence.