All fishing in the Broads area is to be closed for three months to protect spawning and help fish populations remain stable.

The Broads has something to offer everyone, however, its environment is a fragile one and it needs anglers’ co-operation to ensure that the valuable fisheries are cared for and developed for present and future visitors to enjoy.

For any animal species to survive it needs good habitat and space to breed and for this reason, the fishing closed season of The Broads runs from March 15 to June 15 inclusive. The closure applies to all fisheries within the Broads boundaries.

The coarse fish closed season in England is covered by National Byelaw 6 and covers all rivers, streams and other waterways.  In 1995 the closed season was removed from some enclosed, still waters following the increase in artificially stocked lakes but it still applies to some Sites of Special Scientific Interest and all of the Norfolk and Suffolk Broads.

This means that fishing for freshwater fish within the Broads area, during the statutory closed season, is an offence.

‘It has recently come to our attention that some fisheries within the Broads may have remained open throughout the year and for this reason, letters have been sent to the relevant clubs drawing their attention to Byelaw 6,’ said Chris Window, Environmental Crime Team Leader for the Environment Agency.

‘Contravention of the Byelaws is an offence so to avoid that, angling clubs inside the Broads boundary can contact us to seek clarification on the matter. No form of exemption from the requirements of the National Byelaw relating to the Coarse Fish Close Season can be given. There has never had a policy of allowing fisheries to remain open in contravention of the statutory close season,’ he said.

‘There can be no exceptions to this rule and no compensation is payable to fishing clubs or fishery owners for the loss of fishing time,’ he added.

Any queries can be answered by contacting the Environment Agency on 01473 706750 or by letter to Rivers House, Threshelfords Business Park, Inworth Road, Feering, Colchester, CO5 9SE.