THE Environment Agency have finally revealed to Angler’s Mail details on their review of the river fishing Close Season.

Close Season questions arose after news leaked out about the review that has been taking place.

Current the Close Season for coarse fish on rivers in England and Wales runs from March 15 to June 15 inclusive.

The official Close Season review was explained to Angler’s Mail by Kevin Austin, EA deputy director for Agriculture, Fisheries and Environment.

Kevin (pictured below) said: “We know that the Close Season is an issue anglers care deeply about and that’s why we are currently looking at evidence and options for the future.

“The coarse fishing Close Season helps protect vulnerable spawning fish – this is why it’s in place. It is still possible for anglers to fish during this time on many stillwaters and canals, which are open all year round,” he added.


Key Close Season questions to Kevin

1. Is an official review of the current coarse Close Season taking place?

“The aim is to better improve our understanding of the evidence around the close season possible impacts.

The England Fisheries Group, comprising the Environment Agency, Angling Trust and Institute of Fisheries Management reported its findings to England Fisheries Group in July 2017.”


2. When will the outcome be known?

“The review of the evidence findings will be published in spring 2018.”


3. When will it be complete?

“The first phase of the work, which has examined the evidence around the close season, is complete.

We are currently reviewing options for future arrangements and assessing if evidence and opinion supports a case for change.

This will take place during 2018.”


4. Will it have recommendations or just a discussion document?

“This phase of work will examine the various options for future changes.

The EA is considering the findings and deciding whether there is a case to change.

At this point we would then review byelaws and consult with anglers and stakeholders.”


5. Will it go out for public consultation?

“If proposed changes were to take place we would consult on them.”


6.  If change is proposed is there any idea when this will take place?

“If changes are proposed to the current arrangement, this will not come into effect until 2019 at the earliest.”


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More from Angler’s Mail about the Close Season