Anglers are being given the chance to have their say on the rod licencing system by taking part in a huge national survey.
Over the coming months the Environment Agency will be holding over-the-phone interviews with over two thousand randomly selected rod licence holders in order to hear their views on the current system and how it can be improved.
Those taking part will be able to voice their opinions regarding subjects such as the current price, whether specimen anglers fishing three rods should have to pay for two permits and the current structure of the licence for junior anglers.
It’s an initiative that’s being run in partnership with the Angling Trust to aid interactive market research to better understand the needs of those who purchase rod licenses before making changes for the 2016/17 season.
EA Head of Fisheries, Sarah Chare believes taking anglers into consideration is the best way of helping the EA make the right decisions.
“We will be seeking the fairest deal for anglers that also protects the income we need to deliver our vital fisheries services,” she said.
“As part of this we are looking at how we licence multiple rods per angler, attitudes to the junior licence and a 365 day licence, as well as the price of the licence, which has not increased for the last 5 years.”
The Angling Trust is giving its support to the research and its Chief Executive Mark Lloyd said: “The Angling Trust warmly welcomes this initiative to modernise rod licences to make them more user-friendly, such as addressing the multiple rod issue.”
“As government funding for fisheries continues to be cut, it’s important that the EA also considers ways in which it can increase its income from licences so that it can make vital investments in maintaining and improving fish stocks and access to fishing.
We are supporting the EA with advice based on feedback from our members and our own research work over the past 5 years.”