A FURIOUS angler hit out this week after recovering a "barbaric" hooked bait left floating in the River Avon in the centre of Evesham.

And irate Mayor Alan Booth has called for the vicious trap to be displayed to all members of the council when they meet next Monday.

"It is high time people saw some of the things that go on in this town," he said. "This is not the first problem we have had found in the river and it is high time something was done about it."

Swan rescue expert and fellow town councillor John Payne said the incident was being reported to the police with a request for a full investigation.

The lure was discovered by keen angler Martin Smith about noon on Tuesday.

"I was down at the river with a friend, who is also a keen fisherman," he said. "We were looking to see if there were any carp playing in the water lilies when he spotted heavy-duty fishing line attached to the water level gauge at the side of Workman Bridge.

"When we pulled it out of the water we found this diabolical thing on the end of it. It had a lot of bread attached and was clearly designed to attract either a big fish or maybe even a swan. It was an absolute disgrace and the thing made my blood boil."

Mr Smith passed the device to Cllr Booth who in turn gave it to Cllr Payne.

Cllr Payne said: "I don't know quite what it was intended to do. It looks to me as though it is too big for any fish that might be in the river.

"All I can think is that maybe it was intended that a swan would swallow it and it would get trapped in its neck.

" I just don't know but it's an awful thing whatever reason it was there for, and could have caused some serious damage."

Sgt Paul Crumpton of Evesham police confirmed that incidents involving alleged breaches of the law with regard to fishing had been investigated in the past and added: "If this is referred to us as a complaint then of course we will investigate it."