Closed season decision splits angling world

Angling Times readers have taken to social media to voice their opinions on the decision to keep the closed season on rivers..

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On August 20 the Environment Agency confirmed that the present law would be kept to ‘help preserve coarse fish species on running water’, and within minutes of the news being announced Angling Times’ Facebook inbox was flooded with comments for and against the verdict.

In addition, many wanted to see more action being taken to deter poachers and predators as a result of the law being kept.

The EA’s public consultation on revealed that 49.8 per cent of the 13,680 people who participated wanted the closed season scrapped altogether.

A further 38.8 per cent wanted to keep it as it is, while 9.2 per cent wanted a change to the season’s dates. 

Finally, 2.2 per cent were undecided or didn’t respond.

To gather a greater understanding of what anglers wanted, Angling Times carried out its own online poll in 2018 asking the same question.

 The results revealed that from a reaction of more than 7,000 responses, 71 per cent wanted the closed season on rivers to be scrapped, 20 per cent wanted to keep the current closed season and 9 per cent said they would prefer it to be moved to a different time of year. 

Overall, the decision of the Environment Agency has brought mixed opinion with passionate responses from Britain’s anglers on this crucial announcement. Some of the comments are shown below...


Trevor Bexfield: “I agree with the closed season. Most lakes are open 365 days a year so no-one really has tackle gathering dust for three months.”

Malcolm Hallows: “This is the right decision. We need more bailiffs patrolling the rivers, and predation of our fish stocks needs sorting out, but we can still fish stillwaters over the three months. It also gives us the chance to clear banks ahead of the new season.”

David Sellers: “All venues should now close! We all pay the same licence fee so let all the fish have a break – we’re seeing 500lb nets of carp that can’t be healthy for the fish.”

Donald Allan: “By far the best result for everyone. Most of our river coarse species will continue to be protected during spawning and it gives us anglers a chance to try stillwater or canal fishing for at least three months!”

Ben Fairbrass Jonas: “Brilliant news for river anglers. We can continue resting our precious fish and maybe just need to cull the otters now!”


Alan Stewart: “So call a consultation with associated costs, get a result and then ignore it? Sound familiar?”

Andrew Cunnington: “I want a river-only licence. Why should we have to pay for 12 months when we can only fish for nine?”

Karl Davis: “What’s the point in asking public opinion and just do what you want anyway? I can’t see what difference it will make to rivers. It should be managed by clubs as some stillwaters are.”

Paul Harrison: “The survey was just lip service, they’d already their minds up, but thought ‘let’s make them think they have a say.’”

Mike Voller: “There is no closed season with the number of people fishing after March 15. Time for proper anglers to follow suit and fish all year round.”

Agree but changeclosed season

decision splits
angling world

Pete Harrison: “It doesn’t go far enough. All waters should be closed to fishing. Police should be given powers to see fishing licences, force arrests and confiscate equipment.”

Marc Bailey: “It’s all very well and good having a closed season, but in the 10 years I’ve lived in Maidstone I’ve never seen anyone enforcing it, although I have, however, seen plenty of people – usually of Eastern European origin – fishing during the break.”

Bob Davis: “Having made this decision it should be enforced more rigorously, with much tougher penalties.”

John Gearing: “I support this decision myself but this isn’t the issue with fishing as a sport. It’s ridiculously hard to get into as a child with all the costs of club licences, day tickets, rod licences and then the tackle on top – which isn’t cheap these days.”

Andy Mike Ward: “I’m glad they are keeping the closed season, however, I do also think that the EA really must start thinking how it can police rivers to stop these illegal anglers and the taking of fish. I’m sure the cost of the licence will go up for the extra bailiffs that would be required.”