The Agency's Regional Fisheries, Ecology & Recreation Advisory Committees (RFERACs) will be discussing the survey results at their meetings this month.

Thirty five per cent of anglers who'd fished for coarse fish in 2002 favoured scrapping the close season but 50 per cent wanted it to stay.
And there was even more support for keeping the season (55 per cent) among anglers who coarse fished on rivers.

Seventy eight per cent of the anglers quizzed had fished for coarse fish in 2002; 56 per cent had been coarse fishing on a river; and 53 per cent had more than 20 years experience in the sport.

Of those in favour of ending the close season, 36 per cent said there was no need for one while 34 per cent said they would value more fishing time.
Eighty per cent of those backing the close season felt fish needed to rest and breed, 19 per cent felt it gave the riverbank environment time to recover.
Dave Clarke, the Agency's Head of Fisheries, said: "This wasn't a large survey - 400 anglers were polled - but those questioned were an accurate representation of the fishing public and they gave us an insight into feelings on the riverbank.
"The survey results certainly don't give us a mandate for proposing change. Any change would need considerable further research and in these circumstances it would be difficult to justify spending scarce funds on this.
"Before removing the close season from canals, we commissioned scientific research to assess the evidence for impacts to these fisheries.
"It was based on a comparison between those canals that didn't have a close season with those that did. The research cost us ?50,000.
"Similar research on rivers would be more difficult and substantially more expensive. Such research would severely limit or preclude other fisheries research work."

The RFERACs will now scrutinise the survey results before deciding whether to advise the Agency to commission a major research project on the effects of removing the close season.