THE ANNUAL coarse fish close season begins today (Tuesday 15 March) across rivers, streams and drains.
It is designed to protect fish during the breeding season, helping to increase fish stocks and secure angling for the future.
No coarse fishing is permitted on rivers, streams and drains between 15 March to June 15 inclusive.
Anyone found fishing illegally faces prosecution and a hefty fine.
The Environment Agency’s strategic fisheries specialist for the South East, Lawrence Talks, 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 necessary break will safeguard fish during their breeding season, resulting in increased fish stocks and better angling opportunities
“However there are plenty of other places to try coarse fishing such as the many lakes, ponds and still waters across the South East of England.
“If anglers want to try something new, many of our rivers are open for trout fishing.”
To find out where you can fish near to where you live visit the Environment Agency’s website.
Ensure 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.
Mr Talks added: “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 www.environment-agency.gov.uk/homeandleisure/recreation/fishing/31445.aspx