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.