Lakeside, Doncaster: Concerns over illegal fishing at Yorkshire lake which holds exotic carp

Councillors and residents have expressed their concerns over illegal fishing taking place at Doncaster’s Lakeside.

Lakeside near Doncaster city centre is home to a variety of fish species including exotic carp, however numbers have depleted due to illegal angling. Earlier this year, Bessacarr councillor Nick Allen expressed his concerns during a full council meeting.

He asked: “[Lakeside] could be the jewel in the crown for central Doncaster, but it is not. We have ongoing issues with fishing as well as litter, so can we have more Enforcement Action around the Lakeside and retail park?”

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Mayor Ros Jones responded: “We have a certain number of enforcement officers and what you have mentioned will be passed to them. We will look at everything available to us including CCTV, but I cannot create more enforcement officers when I know we will be faced with difficult decisions regarding the amount of money the council will need over the next few years.

Lakeside in DoncasterLakeside in Doncaster
Lakeside in Doncaster

“I cannot single out one specific area. For me, the jewel in the crown is our mansion house.”

Following the meeting, concerns about the activity have grown.

Coun Laura Bluff said: “Illegal fishing on Lakeside is an abhorrent practice that undermines the delicate balance of aquatic ecosystems and poses a significant threat to the sustainability of fish populations. It undermines conservation efforts and disregards environmental laws.

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“It is crucial to condemn such actions and ensure strict enforcement measures are taken, whether that be from DMBC or SYP. One or both need to step up and take action now, to protect Lakeside for current residents and for future generations.”

Coun Allen added: “Laura and I have been approached by a number of local people about this issue. Illegal fishing is obviously causing a significant level of distress locally. People should be able to live in Lakeside and enjoy the area without having to put up with this objectionable behaviour. There are plenty of other places in Doncaster where it is possible to fish legally.

“I have approached DMBC and South Yorkshire Police about this issue and I know they take it seriously. We will keep pressing for a resolution. I hope that appropriate action is taken soon and I do not want this fishing to continue all summer.”

Members of the public also voiced their concerns.

Local resident Mr Stuart Adams said: “I’ve noticed an increasing number of people fishing in the lake. Sure the council put up a few signs, saying no fishing, no dog fouling, but we never see any enforcement officers in the area. So fishing and Dog fouling continue.”

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An anonymous resident added: “Whenever I walk round the Lake at weekends I always see the same two people fishing illegally. With the light evenings they are here in the evenings, too. After dark, especially at weekends, people carrying fishing gear and powerful flashlights are a common sight around the Lake.

“It no longer feels safe after dark and the fish have disappeared from the lake at an alarming rate over the past two years or so. It beggars belief that this has been allowed to go on unchallenged for so long.”