The closed season debate gathered intensity this week as the sport’s governing body invited anglers to ‘have their say’ on the subject in order to discover whether there’s enough evidence to support changing the current laws.
River fishing expert, Dave Harrell, and Angling Times columnist, Keith Arthur, are just two high-profile anglers who have already published their views on the closed season on a new page set-up on the Angling Trust’s website.
In many parts of the UK, running water anglers have voiced their frustrations following the worst flooding for 250-years, which also proved devastating to countless tackle shops that rely on the vital revenue provided by river anglers.
In response to this, the Trust has decided to actively engage in one of the longest standing, and most controversial, debates in the sport and seek the views of anglers and fishery managers via its ‘river closed season debate page’, prior to making any formal approaches to the government on possible law changes.
Despite being a long-time supporter of the closed season, the Angling Trust’s Campaigns Chief Martin Salter has argued that the lack of scientific evidence behind the enforced closure makes it difficult to justify continuing.
“The Environment Agency’s position on rivers remains that it feels it must take the precautionary stance of retaining the closed season until it can be confident that removing it wouldn’t have a detrimental effect on fish populations,” said Martin.
“This said, the existing closed season doesn’t have a huge basis in science and is due for review, so it’s clear that the EA should lead this process and the Angling Trust should stand ready to facilitate.”
The Angling Trust Chief executive Mark Lloyd added: “We accept that this is a live issue and we want anglers on both sides of this debate to have their voices heard and for the arguments to be tested, so we are inviting the nation’s anglers to click onto our new page.”
To view the ‘trusts’ new page use this link: www.anglingtrust.net/closeseason