Three rod licence a possibility

The Environment Agency is considering the creation of a ‘three-rod fishing licence’ for 2014, Angling Times can exclusively reveal.

For years carp anglers have complained of the extra cost of buying a pair of two-rod permits to fish venues that allow three rods, and the EA now says it “there is “strong support to allow three rods on one licence” and will hold a formal review later this year.

Responding to a Freedom of Information Act request by the Angling Times, the EA’s Richard Melbourne said: “We are currently considering our licence duty proposals for 2014 and beyond. We will be reviewing certain aspects of the licensing system to give better service to rod-licence payers.

We will be addressing the number of rods allowed per licence as part of this review. Options for change are currently being considered.”

Discussions about how many rods should be allowed on each licence date back to the national byelaw review process in 1996, as Mr Melbourne explained.

He said: “The options [in 1996] ranged from one licence for each rod used at the one extreme, to unlimited rods per licence on the other.”

The two-rods-per-licence rule was imposed, Mr Melbourne said, “because we believed it to be simple and that it would be popular with most anglers.

“However, we recognise that those fishing with three rods are being penalised by having to buy two licences.”

Details of the EA’s review into the licensing system are set to be published on its website later this year, and the news has been roundly welcomed by the carping community.

Well-known angler Ian ‘Chilly’ Chillcott said: “I think it would be a massive step forward. It shows the EA, as a government body, is listening to people – though it would obviously depend on how they went about pricing it.”