Don’t be an April Fool – get a rod licence

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The Environment Agency is reminding anglers to buy a rod licence before April 1.

All current licences expire on March 31 and anyone caught fishing without one faces a fine of up to £2,500. The income from licence sales will be used to protect and improve fish stocks and the fisheries they support.

Roger Handford, a Fisheries Specialist at the Environment Agency, said: “A rod licence is required when you fish any water such as a river, stream, drain, or any stillwater.

“If you do not have a valid licence and want to fish from April 1, you must obtain one before casting a line.

“Each angler should carry their licence with them on the bank and be able to produce it for Environment Agency Enforcement Officers who will be patrolling all waters to check compliance. Anyone without one risks being taken to court and prosecuted.”

An annual rod licence for the 2013/14 season costs £27 for non-migratory trout and freshwater fish and eels or £72 for salmon and migratory trout. Concessionary licences, which cost £5, are available to juvenile anglers (aged 12-16). Anglers under 12 do not require a licence.

Anglers over 65 and anyone with a Blue Badge parking concession or in receipt of Disability Living Allowance also pays the concessionary adult rate of £18 (non-migratory trout and freshwater fish and eels) and £48 (salmon and migratory trout).

One to eight-day licences for occasional anglers are also available.

Licences can be bought using a credit or debit card by calling the Environment Agency’s telesales line on 0844 800 5386*. Alternatively, they can be obtained from any Post Office or via the internet at www.environment-agency.gov.uk/rodlicence

Over 500,000 anglers already buy their licences online – it’s quick and easy, you’re licensed immediately and when you come to renew it costs us less meaning we can invest more money directly back into fisheries work that benefits all anglers.

Anglers are also reminded that fishing closed season applies to all rivers, streams and drains between 15 March and 15 June. Most canals and still-waters do not have a closed season.

* lines are open from 8.30am to 8pm daily from March to September excluding Bank Holidays except Good Friday and Easter Monday and 8.30am to 6pm from October to February, Monday to Saturday.