The Angling Improvement Fund (AIF) has reopened for funding towards projects tackling the impacts of predation by otters and non-migratory fish-eating birds.

The AIF is administered by the Angling Trust and is just one of the ways the Environment Agency is reinvesting income from fishing licence sales in projects which benefit anglers across England.

£150,000 of rod licence money is being made available in this latest round of funding and applications for up to £6,000 funding are invited from clubs, fisheries and other angling-related organisations. All applicants must have consulted with one of the Angling Trust’s Fisheries Management Advisors (FMA) before applying and should do so as soon as possible to gain the best possible chance of getting advice before the closing date of 28 April. You can find your local FMA here.

Since its launch in 2015, the AIF has made over 340 separate awards to clubs and fisheries for predation projects totalling over £1.2 million. Recent projects to help protect fish stocks have included:

• Providing funding for otter-proof fencing on still waters.
• Building fish refuges and floating islands to help tackle predation by fish-eating birds such as cormorants and goosanders.
• Supporting measures to control mink.

Andy Petch, Angling Improvement Fund Manager for the Angling Trust said:
“Predation of fish stocks is a major concern among anglers and poses a threat to fisheries, so I am delighted that the Environment Agency has chosen to reinvest fishing licence income in projects to help tackle these issues.”I would encourage clubs and fisheries with waters at risk from predation to consider applying for these grants but please ensure you contact one of our Fisheries Management Advisors beforehand. They will be able to offer expert advice and assist you with your application.”

Heidi Stone, Fisheries Partnership Manager from the Environment Agency said:
“Over the years the Environment Agency has supported hundreds of clubs and fishery owners in protecting their fish stocks through the Angling Improvement Fund which is funded through fishing licence sales and offers a direct benefit to our fishing licence holders. I look forward to supporting even more projects this year.

“Income from fishing licence sales also fund Fisheries Management Advisors who are on hand to offer expert advice across the country to venues experiencing predation problems.”

Funding for biosecurity and invasive non-native species projects is due to launch in April. For information about this fund please email

For more information about the Angling Improvement Fund and other funding opportunities visit the Funding section of the Angling Trust website.