Rod licences to be reviewed by Environment Agency

Having to buy two full rod licences to fish with three rods has been a long standing complaint of specimen and carp anglers. But that could be set to change after the Angling Trust began discussions with the Environment Agency to push for a reform of the current system.

The move comes following a huge response to a recent survey carried out by the Trust with aggrieved big fish hunters claiming they are being ‘overcharged’ for fishing three rods. The Environment Agency’s new Deputy Director of Fisheries, Sarah Chare, has since met with Trust officials to discuss possible solutions.

In accordance to current law the UK coarse rod licence allows the holder to fish up to two rods at one time, but in order to fish three rods - a common practice among carp and specimen anglers - you are required to buy two licences at a cost of £54 per year.
“We need to find a workable way forward that’s fairer to specimen anglers without impacting significantly on the funds that pay for the vital work of the EA’s fisheries department,” said Angling Trust Chief Executive Mark Lloyd.

“The Trust has welcomed the willingness of Sarah Chare to listen to the views of the angling community and to consider taking action to make the licence system better for those wishing to fish with three rods.”

Top carp angler and Korda Tackle boss, Danny Fairbrass, agrees the current system needs changing: “There has to be a more cost effective way of charging for an extra rod,” he told Angling Times.

“The best thing would be to introduce a fee for a single rod because very few fisheries actually allow the use of four rods.”

Any changes will not be implemented until April 2016 at the earliest because of the constraints of the commercial rod licence contract.

“This review may also affect the cost of licences which have remained at the same level for the last 5 years,” said Sarah Chare. “As part of this review we are talking with the Angling Trust and other partners to understand the views of the angling groups they represent. We will be seeking the fairest deal for anglers that secures the best future for angling through the services the Environment Agency delivers both directly and through the partners we fund."

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