The Environment Agency has unveiled its new design for this year’s rod licences.

Designed by renowned angling and wildlife artist, David Miller, the image on this year’s non-migratory trout and coarse fishing rod licence is a chub (Leuciscus cephalus). The salmon and sea trout licence is a sea trout (Salmo trutta). David’s artwork has previously featured on a range of sustainable fish stamps for the Royal Mail.

Sarah Chare, head of fisheries at the Environment Agency, said: ‘All the money raised from rod licence sales is used to protect and improve fish stocks and fisheries benefiting anglers. We want more people to give fishing a go and everyone who does will need one of these licences. We’re delighted to see David’s stunning designs which promote the beauty of our natural environment and encourage people to give fishing a go.’

David Miller, the artist who designed the new rod licences, said: ‘Designing this year’s rod licence combines two of my passions: fishing and art. The Environment Agency does a fantastic job and I’m proud to be supporting rod licence sales with my artwork.’

A rod licence is a legal requirement for fishing. At £27 for coarse fishing and non-migratory trout, or £72 to also fish for salmon and sea trout, the annual licence is great value for money. There are flexible options to choose from too: a 1 or 8 day licence or the full season. There are also junior and concession options.

You can buy your rod licence online from the Post Office here, at your local Post Office or by phoning 0344 800 5386.

Buying a rod licence online from the Post Office website is easy, and saves both time and administration costs, meaning that more of the income can be spent on improving fish stocks and fishing. Always ensure that you buy direct from the Post Office because there are some unofficial websites which charge a handling fee.

Anyone fishing illegally is cheating other licence paying anglers, can expect to be prosecuted and face a substantial fine. In 2014-2015 the Environment Agency checked 70,000 rod licences and prosecuted more than 2,000 anglers for fishing without a licence resulting in more than £500,000 in fines and costs.

Rod licence prices and structure remain the same in 2016. Any proposed changes will come in from March 2017.