The Environment Agency has launched a countrywide survey to help shape the future of rod licences – and it could include the scrapping of our famous paper permits.
Undertaken by a market research company on behalf of the EA, the survey also seeks opinion from anglers on the creation of a ‘young persons’ concessionary permit, and a potential 10 per cent annual price rise on yearly tickets.
Since 2017, the cost of the standard, two-rod licence has been frozen at £30, but the considered changes could see the price rise to £33 in time for the 2023 season. It’s believed the new cost would help offset funds lost by the creation of a new permit aimed at encouraging 17 to 24-year-olds to keep fishing.
One Angling Times reader, who wished to remain anonymous, took part in the research and reckons it’s the switch from a paper licence – featuring images from celebrated artist David Miller – to a digital record which will cause the biggest upset.
He told Angling Times:
“I don’t mind paying an extra £3 a year, and I really like the idea of a young persons’ concession. The people doing the survey told me that there’s been a dramatic fall in licence sales among people aged 16 to those in their early twenties, so anything to encourage them would be great. The only thing I don’t like is scrapping paper licences. They’re part of our angling heritage”
An EA spokesperson said:
“No decisions have yet been taken, but any changes to the current fishing licence will not come into effect until 2023, and will be formally communicated to all anglers”.