Salmon federation directive ignores the real problem
“The problem is that not enough adult salmon are returning from the sea. So why not focus there - that’s where the problem is.”
I see the Atlantic Salmon Federation (ASF) has again issued a news release calling for the live release of all Atlantic salmon.
As much as I admire ASF and their work — I am a member — and thank God that they try to keep some checks on the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, they simply do not understand the Newfoundland and Labrador salmon angler.
In Newfoundland and Labrador, the retention anglers are the true stewards of our rivers and our salmon. Take the retention anglers off our rivers and the poachers will destroy them within five years.
Shame on both ASF and DFO for suggesting that retention anglers are even part of the problem with low salmon returns.
All you can ask our river systems to do is to produce enough baby salmon to keep our stocks sustainable. And our rivers are doing that. The problem is that not enough adult salmon are returning from the sea. So why not focus there - that’s where the problem is.
Anglers are tired of taking the blame for something that is not their fault. ASF needs to pressure DFO to stop the poaching at sea, stop the salmon bycatch by the seiners and bait nets and take the open pen aquaculture nets off our south coast. Then our rivers will be full of salmon - I guarantee it!
Rick Maddigan writes from St. John’s