Make sure you renew your rod licence!

It’s that time of year again when you need to renew your rod licence, or risk facing a fine of up to £2,500 along with a criminal conviction!

The current licence expires on March 31, and for the coming season there has been a massive shake-up in the system, which will mean that the average carp angler will save money as a result!

The changes are all part of a new policy by the Environment Agency to try and offer anglers better value-for-money from the licence fees collected, as well as trying to encourage more youngsters to get into the sport.

The measures for 2017 include a special price for those who only use three rods, meaning that they no longer need to purchase two full licences, which enable up to four rods to be used. The full licence (for two rods) will now cost £30, with the three-rod licence priced at £45 – a total saving of £15 if you use three rods.

In addition to these changes, the EA has now completely scrapped any licence fee for under-16s, in the hope that it will bring more youngsters into fishing, as this is an area that has been on the decline in recent years.

The new licences will also be issued on a rolling basis, meaning that you will definitely get your monies worth out of it, as it runs for 365 days from the day of purchase – rather than expiring at the end of March, as is currently the case.

Changes to the existing licence system were made in response to the findings of an Angling Trust survey, which found that anglers were unhappy with the current regime, and carp anglers - in particular those who use three rods – felt that they have been getting a bad deal.

EA Head of Fisheries, Sarah Chare, commented: “We hope that a 365-day licence, a three-rod licence, and a free junior licence, will all play a part in getting more young people fishing and securing the sport’s future.

“All the money raised from rod licence sales is ploughed back into our fisheries, and is used to fund a wide range of projects to improve facilities for anglers,” she explained.

You can buy your new rod licence in the Post Office, or do it online via: https://www.gov.uk/fishing-licences/buy-a-fishing-licence