Patrols are to be stepped up at one of Doncaster’s most popular parks after an illegal trap to snare fish was discovered.
The sophisticated wood and wire cage was found submerged beneath the water at Sandall Park - and weighted down with bricks during a routine inspection of the lake last week.
Now security is set to be stepped up in a bid to track down the culprits - although officials from the park’s angling club admit they face a tough task.
Lucan Handley, chairman of the Anglers of Sandall Park group, said: “We’ve always had problems with poaching but this is the first time we’ve seen something as sophisticated as this.
“It has been built with a bit of effort and some thought has gone into whoever is behind it to catch our fish.”
Mr Handley said illegal fishermen generally used baited crab lines to poach fish but this was the first time a “lobster pot” style trap, where the fish can swim in, but not escape again, had been used.
He said: “I was checking round the lake edges when I saw a line floating on the water. Then I found the cage weighted down by the bank in about three feet of water.
“It had been baited with all sorts, so they obviously knew what they were doing.”
Mr Handley said the park lake has hundreds of fish with carp, bream, roach, rudd, pike and perch among the most common species.
He added: “We will be increasing our patrols and the police have also promised to investigate, but to be honest, the chances of catching anyone in the act are very slim.
“ It only takes a matter of moments to drop the cage in the lake and they can be away again very quickly.”
He urged park users to be vigilant and report suspicious activity to the police or the Friends of Sandall Park Group, the volunteer organisation which maintains the park.
“We need to stick together,” he said.