DFO reports 190 inland violations during salmon season
During the 2016 angling season, officers and guardians with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) inspected 4,200 anglers.
Of that number, 190 fishing violations were detected, including: 106 inland salmon; 22 coastal violations; with 39 nets being found and removed. There were also 23 violations of the trout regulations, such as daily bag limit measures.
A significant number of charges laid this summer are still pending before the court and may result in convictions.
According to Daryl Walsh, senior compliance officer with DFO’s Conservation and Protection Division, the violations detected are on par with the previous year.
However, the number of nets being found, as a result of abandonment or poachers afraid to return for retrieval, is of particular concern to Walsh.
“We don’t like to leave those nets in the water too long because they are going to continue catching more and more salmon,” said Walsh. “They can be particularly destructive, especially when inland netting is taking place on smaller rivers.”
Still for all, Walsh had high praise for those who are following the law, noting the violations only made up a small percent- age - less than five per cent - of the checks carried out.
“The vast majority of salmon fishers on the river care about salmon as much as we do, and want to conserve and protect them,” said Walsh. “They make up some of the biggest allies we have.”
When it comes to activity, Walsh said the angling season appeared a little slower than last year, noting salmon were moving through rivers early in the season, when waters where higher and colder, which was followed by the closure of 23 rivers because of poor conditions. As a result the effort wasn’t as strong.
“It sort of goes hand in hand,” he said.
The public is encouraged to report poaching activity to Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or to one of the Conservation and Protection offices in the province.
A 19-foot open boat and motor were seized following the arrest of two men from South East Bight Sept. 23 for possessing untagged caribou. Four quarters of caribou, two rifles and ammunition were also confiscated.