“The £23 million generated through rod licence sales is one of the main reasons why we have had such an outstanding start to the river season.”
These are the words of Environment Agency chiefs who have this week answered the question that many anglers ask – where does their licence money go?
Over 35 per-cent of the funds made by the government Agency during the 2013-14 season has been used to finance one of the biggest re-stocking programmes ever carried out on the nation’s rivers, which saw over almost half-a-million fish introduced at venues across the UK.
There was also a huge investment in fishery improvement as 5,000 individual projects saw over 100 kilometres of river receive vital work including the creation of new spawning grounds along with improved access and new pegs.
Anglers are now reaping the rewards of this work as not only are many rivers producing their best early-season form for many years, but record numbers of juvenile fish thriving in waterways such as the Wye, Ouse, Thames and Trent are being reported.
“The start to this year’s river season across the nation has been incredible and this has been aided by the re-stockings, habitat restoration and improved access funded by money made from rod licence sales,” said an EA spokesperson.
“Last financial year we carried out improvements across the country from the north east to the south west and this work is just the beginning.”
A large slice of the revenue has been spent on the promotion of angling through initiatives such as National Fishing Month along with projects and workshops with fishery owners and angling clubs to provide advice on how to maintain and improve their waters.
The money also enabled the EA to step up their enforcement patrols resulting in over 70,000 rod licence checks nation-wide culminating in 2,800 prosecutions which generated £600,000 in fines.
“We have stepped up licence checking this year as part of a push to reverse the decline in licence sales and income. In the first 3 months (April to June) we checked 28,000 anglers and found 1,800 without a licence, continued the EA spokesperson.”
“This can only ensure these people will now think twice when looking to cheat the law and their fellow anglers again.”
Your rod licence money is responsible for
• The rearing of 500,000 fish at the EA’s Calverton Fish Farm
• 70,000 licence checks
• 5000 fish movements permitted to improve and develop venues
• 2,800 licence cheats prosecuted
• 100 kilometres of river fisheries habitat improved
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