Coarse fishing season begins in South East

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THE ANNUAL COARSE FISH close season begins today (March 15) across rivers, streams and drains to protect fish during their breeding season, helping to increase fish stocks and secure angling for the future.

This year’s close season will be even more important to fish and their local environment as drought has now been declared in the South East of England. With river flow levels exceptionally low and the dry weather set to continue, the effects on the environment will be even more significant. The Environment Agency is actively monitoring the environmental impacts of drought and is taking action wherever possible.

Lawrence Talks, the Environment Agency’s South East Strategic Fisheries Specialist, said: “Starting from today, this year’s close season means that for a few weeks anglers will not be able to go coarse fishing in rivers, streams and drains. This break is designed to protect fish stocks when they are vulnerable and they are particularly vulnerable this year where river flows are very low, caused by the exceptionally dry weather.

“There are plenty of other places to try coarse fishing such as the many lakes, ponds and stillwaters across the South East of England. If anglers want to try something new, many of our rivers are open for trout fishing.”

No coarse fishing is permitted on rivers, streams and drains between 15 March to 15 June inclusive, and anyone found fishing illegally faces prosecution and a hefty fine.

“To find out where you can fish near to where you live, please visit the Environment Agency’s website. Please also ensure that you have a valid rod licence which can be readily purchased via the post office, by telephone on 0844 800 5386, by direct debit or online at www.environment-agency.gov.uk/rodlicence.

“If you fish without a rod licence you are cheating other anglers. Money raised through rod licence sales is invested in fisheries work to benefit all anglers.”

To find out where to fish in your area, and to download free fishing guides, visit: http://www.environment-agency.gov.uk/homeandleisure/recreation/fishing/31445.aspx