THE Environment Agency is consulting all interested parties on the coarse fish close season which is currently from March 15 to June 15 and has been unchanged for many years over most of England and Wales.

New dates suggested are from April 15 to June 30 or the complete abolishment of the close season is also in the mix.

Full details may be seen on the Environment Agency’s website at and the survey closes on March 11.

Comments may be sent by email and include “Coarse Fish Close Season Consultation” in the title.

Various comments have been put forward concerning its effect on trout fishing by the use of various baits attracting brown trout recovering from spawning.

It also consults on the needs for rivers to have a period to recover whilst the coarse fish spawn and will climate change necessitate further date revisions in the future.

The Countryside Restoration Trust is also sounding out via a survey on the appetite for a nationwide eradication of mink.

Whether this is possible is highly unlikely but a reduction in the present mink population would not go amiss.

Present day anglers fishing the River Aire and its tributaries would be amazed at the amount of wildlife present pre the 1970s

Waterhens and water voles were abundant throughout the upper Aire and also on Broughton Beck where on a bus trip to work up to 30 or more moorhens could be counted each morning between Broughton and Thornton-in-Craven.

Even moorhens and water voles would have been difficult to spot last weekend when the heavy overnight rain brought the level of the Aire to the top of its banks.

One regular angler reported rather poor fishing on the upper lengths of late so the flood conditions may bring about an improvement once the extra water runs off.