Coarse Fish Close Season in England

The EA in England is consulting on the coarse fish close season, seeking views on continuation of the current close season, shifting it to 15 April to 30 June or its abolition.

We at WTT have responded (a copy of that response HERE).

We are recommending maintenance of the status quo i.e. a close season on rivers and some canals and stillwaters from 15 March to 15 June: not perfect but practical and protects most species, most of the time. We believe that rivers and their wildlife need a break and thus do not support the abolition of the close season. We do not believe that the close season should be moved, to protect coarse fish spawners, especially in the light of predicted climate change and likely earlier shifting spawning times and because of the risk to salmonids (juveniles and adults) that are feeding hard as the river wakes up and are vulnerable to capture and mortality from bait fishing. 

There may be a group of dedicated river coarse fishers who would likely benefit from longer access to the river, but there’s also a significant number (inc many WTT members) of mixed” fishers who don’t only trout fish, can’t necessarily afford high-end trout fishing and who ply their pastime on mixed fisheries, trout fishing at prime time in April & May, before picking up their coarse rods come 16 June. The status quo gives this group of anglers a choice and some exclusive time on the river. 

The no close season or even the later close season options would deny these anglers that exclusive month of mid Mar-mid Apr which in many parts of the country has some of the best trout fishing.

The EA is keen to hear views from as many people as possible, ahead of the closing date of 11 March. You can respond through this link.