How is Your Rod Licence Money Spent?
Nobody relishes paying fees and taxes. Anglers are obliged to pay for their rod licences and this is a fee which many would doubtless prefer not to pay. Perhaps this is how you feel but you might be more enthusiastic about the charges if you knew that the money was being put to good use?
The Environment Agency’s Annual Report
The Environment Agency has now released its annual report detailing how rod licence fees were spent between April 2015 and March 2016. The report makes for some interesting reading.
Over the year, £21 million in rod licence fees was collected. The funds were used to enhance or to protect angling and fisheries. England’s rivers were restocked with 452,220 coarse fish such as chub and barbell. The specimens were taken from the Environment Agencies’ fish farm at Calverton, Nottinghamshire. 405 kilometres of river were opened up for fish by constructing 57 fish passes at locks and weirs.
Education and Participation
In Cumbria, the Environment Agency financed a program of education for canoeists. This taught them how to protect fish spawning just under the weir at Newby Bridge. This positive approach has helped to improve fish stocks in the region.
By working with partners, including the Angling Trust, the Agency has encouraged an increase in angling participation. More than 35,000 people tried angling for the first time at events organised across the country during the year. Many of these newcomers were school children who have now discovered a new activity to enjoy. Hopefully these youngsters will stick with the sport.
Award Winning Projects
The Environment agency, working in partnership with the Cumbria River Trust, received a national award for a ‘Large-Scale Habitat Enhancement Scheme’. This was for the 120 habitat improvement projects on the River Derwent and Bassenthwaite, all of which were funded by rod licence fees.
Rod licence fees were also used to fund a crackdown on fisheries crime. The Agency checked 62,076 rod licences over the period and brought 2,043 successful prosecutions for fisheries crime, like poaching.
The Environment Agency use the rod licence money to benefit all aspects of angling including access to fisheries for the disabled, rescuing fish, improving the environment and enforcing the law. They are keen to promote angling as a pursuit which engenders good health and which contributes £1 billion to the national economy. So perhaps those rod licence fees are not such a bad thing after all!