DFO continues Conservation Measures for Atlantic Salmon in 2017
Those in the Maritime provinces looking to retain Atlantic salmon and grilse this year will be disappointed as the conservation measures instituted in 2015 will continue for the 2017 angling season across all Maritime Provinces. The Department of Fisheries and Oceans released a statement today announcing that the quota for grilse will remain at 0 for the Atlantic salmon recreational fishery in 2017, just like the previous two angling seasons.
The retention limit of 0 will apply in New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island. Full text of the decision can be found here.
This will no doubt disappoint several groups including the New Brunswick Wildlife Federation who was pushing to allow Atlantic salmon grilse retention for this season. They release a statement saying that they did “not see any conservation merit in the 2015 mandatory hook and release measures. The Federation views the imposition of province-wide hook and release variance order as not reflecting the established science-based conservation principles for the management of Atlantic Salmon.” NBWF president Charlie LeBlanc was quoted at that time, saying, “Anglers being on the river as eyes and ears help to deter poaching. They also contribute to the economic welfare of the small communities along the rivers.” He said “fewer anglers on the river also means fewer young people are being introduced to the sport.”
Local angler Jean-Claude Cormier said, “Just my 2 cents, but I think it's great that there is still no salmon retention. I would like to see an across the board salmon catch and release though, as it would put more eyes on the water across the province. By open catch and release, I mean all the rivers in New Brunswick that have salmon should be allowed catch and release. By having it closed except for on the Miramichi and Restigouche, that opens up opportunities for poachers as there are seldom people there fishing that would otherwise deter a poacher to do his dirty deeds. For example, as an avid trout angler, I fish rivers now closed to salmon angling, therefore I rarely encounter other anglers. As a result, I have come across poachers and illegal gill nets. This needs to change.”
For those that will be fishing Atlantic salmon this season, please be mindful to follow all regulations. Pinch or remove your barbs on the flies and follow safe handling and release practices.
A reminder that angling for landlocked salmon is permitted in New Brunswick, and the tags distributed with provincial salmon angling licenses are only to be used for these fish. For further information about the province’s salmon and trout stocking program, check our previous article found here.
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