2017 Rod Licence Changes

You may already be aware, but as renewal time approaches, we thought we’d remind you of the changes made to rod licences following feedback from anglers all over England. The changes include a free rod licence for junior anglers, which is hoped will encourage more young people to give fishing a go and secure the future of the sport. Also, there is now a rolling rod licence that lasts for 365 days from the day it’s bought – rather than being valid until the end of March – regardless of when it was purchased. The third change is one which carp and specimen anglers have long campaigned for: the use of three rods with just one licence, rather than two.

There are also some small increases to standard charges. For example, a coarse fishing licence has increased from £27 to £30. This is the first time the cost of a rod licence has gone up since 2010, and all additional income generated will go back into improving fisheries and services for anglers. Sarah Chare, Head of Fisheries at the Environment Agency, said:

“These exciting changes reflect feedback from our customers. We hope that a 365-day licence, a three-rod licence and a free junior licence can all play an important part in getting more young people fishing and securing the future of the sport.”

The Angling Trust is the national representative and governing body for angling in England, and they welcome the changes. Mark Lloyd, Chief Executive of the Angling Trust & Fish Legal, said:

“The Angling Trust lobbied the Environment Agency to make these changes to the rod-licence system, as many of the carp and specimen anglers we represent had complained about the need for them to buy two separate licences for four rods, when they wanted to fish with three, so the new extra rod licence option is very welcome indeed.

We also wanted a free junior licence, as this removes a significant barrier to participation for young people considering taking up the sport. Well done to the Environment Agency for listening and taking anglers’ concerns on board.”

The following charges will apply from 1st April 2017: two-rod licence £30; three-rod licence £45. This represents a saving for anglers who previously had to buy two licences to fish with three rods. The changes come into effect in March 2017, with new licences valid from 1st April.

Further information can be found at gov.uk/fishing-licences

Mick Clifford