The Environment Agency is advertising new byelaws to remove the brown trout close season from stillwater fisheries.
The byelaws will remove the angling close season for brown trout from all fully enclosed stillwaters in England and Wales. Fully enclosed waters are those reservoirs, lakes or ponds which fish cannot normally swim from or to other waters. These waters will, by their very nature, not have stocks of spawning wild fish.
The Environment Agency will also have the power to dispense with the close season on a case by case basis on other waters which may not be enclosed yet do not contain wild stocks.
Adrian Taylor, Fisheries Manager at the Environment Agency said: “Close seasons are essential to protect wild brown trout from disturbance during spawning. However, where wild fish are absent and fisheries are wholly dependent on restocking, there is a case for allowing year-round angling. Removing the close season from enclosed stillwaters should give many stillwater managers this option. The additional power allows us to assess the risk posed to other stillwaters on a case by case basis and remove the close season where there is no risk to wild stocks.”
Anyone wishing to see the byelaws can obtain a copy from the Environment Agency website (www.environment-agency.gov.uk/fish), or by phoning 0870 506 506. Objections or letters of support must be sent to Defra or the Welsh Assembly Government by 20 January 2010.
After the Environment Agency has responded to any objections, it will formally apply to the Secretary of State and Welsh Ministers for confirmation. The Environment Agency hopes to introduce the new byelaws in early 2010.