Close season on rivers, drains and other waters runs from March 15 to June 15
By Ken Wade
The close season debate has been raging on for many years now, but at long last the Environment Agency has asked anglers what their thoughts and wishes are.
To recap, at present we have a close season on rivers, Fenland drains and a few other waters which runs from March 15 to June 15, so basically no fishing on these waters on and between those days.
Before we had commercial fisheries most anglers looked forward to a few weeks off, or for the dedicated a trip abroad to Ireland, France, Denmark and other countries that do not have a close season. Now, though, anglers can fish all the year round on commercial waters which many neutral observers and some anglers will find strange. The close season was/is to look after fish stocks and fish at spawning times, give the bank side a much-needed rest which, in turn, would not disturb breeding wildlife. Since the massive increase in commercial waters, though, many would argue that the majority of our natural venues only see a fraction of anglers that they did 20 years ago and, with fish spawning at so many different times of the year and very little in the way of bankside disturbance, the close season rule is outdated. So now all anglers have a chance to have their say.
From today until March 11, the Environment Agency is consulting on three options: keeping the current close season; changing the dates of the close season; or removing it altogether. You can access the consultation here: https://consult.environment-agency.gov.uk/fisheries/consultation-on-the-review-of-the-close-season/