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Letters: Salmon anglers ignore river temperatures

Salmon anglers at the tailrace in front of the powerhouse in Deer Lake. — Robert Sheppard photo
Salmon anglers at the tailrace in front of the powerhouse in Deer Lake. — Robert Sheppard photo

The Humber River is the second largest river in Newfoundland and a world-class salmon fishing river. When the Department of Fisheries and Oceans introduced its 18 C temperature protocol on July 20, the Upper Humber at Big Falls remained open. Several local anglers became concerned and measured the water temperature on July 27 at Big Falls and discovered that the temperature was 24 C — nearly fatal to salmon hooked and released. 

 

DFO was informed of the temperature and local concerns, and finally closed the Upper Humber on Aug. 3. One has to wonder if the local anglers had not complained whether the Upper Humber would still be open to hook-and-release fishing, seriously damaging our salmon stocks. Catch-and-release fishermen continued to fish and ignore water temperatures until the river closed.

Water temperatures were again measured on the Humber River at the tailrace in Deer Lake. The temperatures there exceeded 18 C since July 30, yet the tailrace remained open. Once again, catch-and-release fishermen ignored the water temperature protocol.

While it was legal to fish, it was morally and ethically wrong to do so.

Did outfitters pressure DFO to keep the river open to entertain guests?

Water temperatures were again measured on the Humber River at the tailrace in Deer Lake. The temperatures there exceeded 18 C since July 30, yet the tailrace remained open. Once again, catch-and-release fishermen ignored the water temperature protocol.

Outfitters in Labrador pressured DFO last August to increase the daily catch and release limit to eight per day. The Labrador outfitters again pressured government this year to remove the cap on catch and release.

They openly bragged that all their guests maxed out on catch and release, meaning that their guests killed two to three salmon during their stay.

That is not conservation. That is corporate greed.

Now the outfitters want to have their own salmon fishing regulations. The salmon foxes want to take care of the salmon henhouse — wonderful!

Corporate greed trumps conservation every time. It’s time to ban catch-and-release salmon fishing in Newfoundland and Labrador.

Non-resident anglers who practice catch and release are no longer welcome in our province to fish.

This is an imported fishing method that is unenforceable and unethical. It is not the cultural values that we believe in here. We don’t torture animals for fun and that includes salmon.

Stay home or fish elsewhere — not in Newfoundland and Labrador.

Robert Sheppard
Logy Bay

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