Fishing Stories

Angling rules changed to get children hooked on fishing

Young fishing fans will find it easier to get hooked on angling from next year after a shake-up of regulations means they will be able to enjoy the sport for free

From April junior anglers will no longer have to pay for rod licences for coarse and salmon and sea trout fishing in England and Wales


Young fishing fans will find it easier to get hooked on angling from next year after a shake-up of regulations means they will be able to enjoy the sport for free.

From April junior anglers will no longer have to pay for rod licences for coarse and salmon and sea trout fishing in England and Wales.

The Environment Agency (EA), which issues the licences, hopes the move will secure the future of the sport by encouraging more young people to give fishing a go.

Other changes include introducing a rolling rod licence that lasts for a year from the day it is bought, rather than running only to the end of March, and allowing the use of three rods under one licence rather than two.

Sarah Chare, head of fisheries at the EA, said: "We hope that a 365-day licence, a three-rod licence and a free junior licence can all play an important part in getting more young people fishing and securing the future of the sport.

"All money raised from rod licence sales is ploughed back into England's fisheries, and is used to fund a wide range of projects to improve facilities for anglers."

Environment Secretary Andrea Leadsom said the changes were "great news" for anglers and would simplify the system.

Mark Lloyd, chief executive of the Angling Trust and Fish Legal, added: "A free junior licence removes a significant barrier to participation for young people considering taking up the sport.

"Well done to the Environment Agency for listening and taking anglers' concerns on board."

The cost of a coarse fishing licence will rise slightly, from £27 to £30, the first increase since 2010, while salmon and sea trout licences are up from £72 to £82.

Anglers are required by law to have a licence to fish in rivers, lakes and inland waters in England, where more than three million people fish.

Last year the EA prosecuted more than 1,900 anglers, with fines and costs of over £500,000.
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