THE second ever Environment Agency Annual Fisheries Report has been released – and there’s some good news for angling.

Environment Agency rod licence sales were finally up for the 2015-16 season, rising by 4,155 to 1,210,201 sold, giving £21 million income.

This is the first sales increase since 2009-10 when rod licences peaked at 1.4 million and there’s been a steady decline since.

And there was substantial rise in coarse stockings with 452,220 fish stocked from the Environment Agency’s Calverton Fish Farm last year, up from 336,218 stocked the year before.

But it wasn’t all good news with fish rescues down ten-fold, with just 80,000 rescued from pollution incident last year.

Some £8.75 million was invested in fisheries and angling programmes with a further £2.7 million given out in partner investments.

A big chunk of the £2.7 million goes to the Angling Trust on development and promotion of angling and the expansion of the voluntary bailiff service.

“We invest rod licence income”

Sarah Chare, Environment Agency head of fisheries, revealed: “We invest rod licence income into angling and fisheries improvement funding programmes and where opportunities are available we seek match funding with partners

“For every £1 of rod licence income invested into these programmes an additional £2.25 of funding from other sources is generated.

“In 2015 there were 15 Family Fishing events organised by the Angling Trust attended by 10,095 and Get Hooked on Fishing events attracted a further 10,000. National Fishing Month also introduced more than 14,000 new people to angling,” she added.

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