The Environment Agency (EA) have published their consultation findings and their proposals for new national byelaws regarding the taking of fish by rod and line.
During the summer of 2009, the EA consulted with various organisations and the wider public via a questionnaire about the future of taking coarse fish by rod and line. The results of this consultation have been published online.
The EA have also published their proposed byelaws following this consultation.
The main sections within this document that affect pike anglers are:
"We propose a byelaw that prohibits the removal of coarse fish from stillwaters, except with written permission of the fishery owner/occupier. "
This effectively sets a zero limit on the taking of all coarse fish from stillwaters without permission.
"Allows a limited number of small (maximum size limit) fish for bait, possibly of listed species;"
This effectively allows livebaiting to continue.
"allows a limited number of pike up to a maximum size; "
The size limit would be put in place to protect large pike and the important fisheries these support.
There is further discussion taking place with the Angling Trust amongst others, so this is not necessary the final byelaw. The final words, including sizes and limits will be available in December this year. We will keep you informed as soon as we know more.