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LETTER: Salmon rules make no sense

['Kayla Fraser photo<br />Angling in some parts of the Exploits River will be interrupted for repairs to Goodyear Dam.']
The Exploits River is a favourite spot for salmon anglers. — SaltWire file photo

This year, on a Schedule 2 river, you can only keep one salmon, not two.

On all rivers in Newfoundland and Labrador, you can hook and release three per day. Our licence runs from June 1 to Sept. 7.

If one can hook and release three per day, June has 30 days, which equals 90 Atlantic salmon. July has 31 days, which equals 93 Atlantic salmon. August has 31 days, which equals 93 Atlantic salmon and September has seven days when one can legally hook and release three per day. This adds up to 283 salmon permitted to be hooked and released. The Department of Fisheries and Oceans allows for a 10 per cent kill rate, and that equals to 28 dead fish per licence for hook and release. How many licences were sold in Newfoundland and Labrador?

DFO in St. Anthony says that on Schedule 2 waters, I am only permitted to kill one salmon, No. 1 tag. No No. 2 tag can be used.

Only tags 4 and 5 can be used on Schedule 4 rivers. Effectively, DFO, with the advocacy of the Atlantic Salmon Federation, have made it so in Newfoundland and Labrador, a licence holder can only keep three salmon. I do not know the specifics for the Exploits, the Gander or the Humber, but my understanding is that nowhere on the Avalon or on the south coast can a licensed angler keep more than one salmon.

There is no temperature protocol on any rivers. Salmon rivers in Newfoundland and Labrador will not close if the temperature goes above 18 degrees Celsius. This was advocated by the Atlantic Salmon Federation (ASF) and outfitters in Newfoundland and Labrador.

I advocate that an Atlantic salmon never should come out of the water unless you are going to eat it. It should never be taken out of the water for pictures. If you are going to release the salmon, nothing stronger than a four or six-pound test leader should be used. Any salmon caught on a small pound test leader is going to escape. There should be two separate licences in Newfoundland and Labrador: one for hook and release and one for retention.

Since the licences were released, the ASF has been saying that, depending on the river counts, retention may increase. ASF’s representative in Newfoundland and Labrador has said as much on CBC, CFCB and VOCM.

This is my understanding of this year’s salmon angling rules. Please correct me if I am wrong.

I say if the stocks are in such dire straits, close it down to all angling.

Ward Samson
Main Brook

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