As I write, I'm looking out of my office window down on a perfect looking river Severn that I can't fish again until June 16th. The powers that be decided to keep with the traditional shut down, despite research that indicated there was no real reason to do so. In my opinion the three-month break is ridiculous and dates back so long I don't think anyone can remember who or why it was created. Okay, I know it was intended as a break for the fish to spawn but the dace in the Severn have already spawned and when the other fish are spawning they are not interested in eating as we know from our trips to Ireland.

I know there are lots of romantics out there who want to retain a three month break and if water owners feel the same way then fine, let them close. On small rivers they may want to have a complete lack of anglers on the banks but on big rivers like the Severn, in my opinion, there is absolutely no need to close. If the powers that be want to test the water, so to speak, why not allow fishing on a major river like the Severn to be carried through and monitor the effects. They can always reverse the decision if it's felt that fishing is detrimental but unless we try we'll never know will we?

The climate, as we keep getting told, is constantly changing. Fish don't have calendars and I've lost count of the number of lakes I've fished in June, July and August where carp have been spawning all around me. The whole situation is mad.

As final thought, if we are to get a national cross section of anglers opinions regarding the close season, why not have a detachable, returnable strip on our rod licenses for us all to vote one way or the other? It would certainly be a much better way of evaluating things than just getting a few signatures from the barbel society. If people don't want to fish the rivers from March 14th to June 16th then fine, have a break. I don't think it's right however that those of us who do should be subjected to such outdated, unnecessary laws.