DFO closes 63 rivers due to dry, hot conditions

James
James McLeod
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Tonight, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans will close 63 salmon rivers across the island, but Tony Blanchard isn’t convinced it’ll disappoint too many anglers.
“With the conditions, it’s not real good for angling anyway, I wouldn’t think,” Blanchard, the regional manager of resource management with DFO said.

Warm, dry conditions have left rivers across the province with low water levels and warmer temperatures which affect the fish.

Tony Tuck, an outfitter who runs salmon fishing lodges on the south coast, hadn’t heard about the closures when he spoke to The Telegram, but he’d definitely seen the conditions on the rivers.

When the temperatures are warm, the fish are sluggish, he said.

“They’re almost impossible to catch when the water gets too warm. You can fish, but you won’t catch them,” Tuck said.

That sort of thing isn’t ideal for a salmon outfitter, but when the rivers close altogether, Tuck said, it gets much worse.

“That’ll drastically affect any outfitter who’s got a client booked for a trip,” he said. “Obviously the client is not pleased. They come and they can’t fish. Some are easier to get along than others. … It can be a messy situation.”

Tuck said often, he’s not convinced that closing rivers is the best move, even when the weather is warm and the water levels are low.

“More often than not there’d be some closures during a summer. I can’t say that I agree with all of them,” he said. “Once you close rivers, all the legal anglers are off the rivers, and that opens the situation to poachers.”

But Blanchard said the closures will continue until there’s a significant rainfall and the temperatures change.

In total, including the 20 rivers that were closed last week, 83 salmon rivers in the province will be closed — around 45 per cent of all the rivers in the province.

For a full listing of closed rivers, anglers can visit the Department of Fisheries and Oceans website.

 

jmcleod@thetelegram.com

Twitter: TelegramJames

Organizations: Department of Fisheries and Oceans

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  • John Q Public
    July 23, 2014 - 09:12

    Thankfully and mercifully DFO has ended the hook, exhaust and release party on some of our salmon rivers. Even if water levels were high and water was colder the stress caused to those salmon who are hooked, exhausted and released is such that it potentially negatively impacts the spawning process of those fish and also causes a higher level of mortality. Thankfully that has ended on the closed rivers now. Mr. Tulk is a profit seeking business man. He is motivated by his business bottom line. His contention that because there are recreational hook exhaust and release revelers on the rivers that poaching is somehow reduced. What load of bull shit! When rivers are open, poachers disguise themselves as fly fishers as a reason for being on the river. When the river is closed there is NO justification for being there and that fact serves to reduce the level poaching. Some poachers will kill salmon wither rivers are open or closed but when rivers are closed they are more apt to be seen, reported and / or caught by enforcement (because they now have no reason to be there) . If there was no hook and release fishing permitted at all those that want to fish to catch the 3 or 4 fish they are licensed to retain would still be permitted. There would be no need to close any river. DFO should end the hook and release forever! Maybe then our salmon stocks would recover for the benefit of ALL citizens instead of being harassed for the benefit of a few profit hungry businesses and associations.