N.L. salmon man­age­ment plan is both fair and bal­anced

The Pilot - - Editorial - Marvin Barnes St. John’s

Al­though I had re­solved to re­strain from fur­ther dis­cussing is­sues per­tain­ing to salmon man­age­ment is­sues on New­found­land, I feel com­pelled to write in re­sponse to Gary Gale’s let­ter dated May 10. Gale as­serts that re­ten­tion and hook-and-re­lease an­glers should share “pain due to cuts” equally.

No Mr. Gale, it should not be shared equally. A re­tained fish is a dead fish that is 100 per cent lost to the salmon pop­u­la­tion. End of story.

A fish that is hooked and re­leased prop­erly, and I em­pha­size prop­erly, is in the vast ma­jor­ity of cases not lost to the pop­u­la­tion but rather is re­leased, swims away and lives to spawn an­other day. These two things are not the same Mr. Gale, not even close. What drivel.

He then goes on to say that there is a to­ken re­duc­tion in the re­lease from four to three fish for hookand-re­lease an­glers, and that this should be cod­i­fied into reg­u­la­tion and mon­i­tored. How ex­actly, in this age of dwin­dling re­sources, does Gale pro­pose that DFO, or any­body else, could mount such a pro­gram with any cred­i­bil­ity. Maybe Min­is­ter Gerry Byrne could put his time to good and prac­ti­cal use and pa­trol rivers per­son­ally?

Gale also notes that hook-an­drelease an­glers can re­lease three fish per day, which equals 300 fish per 100-day sea­son. I can only as­sume that he is a much more ac­com­plished fish­er­men than I in terms of hook­ing three fish ev­ery day and is very lucky to be able to spend 100 days (ev­ery day of the sea­son?) angling. Also where does he ar­rive at 10 per cent kill fig­ure, surely the up­per range of any rea­son­able as­sess­ment of the over­all neg­a­tive ef­fect of hookand-re­lease?

I will de­fer to the ex­per­tise of Mr. Gale and oth­ers re­gard­ing the oft-touted perspective that the pres­ence of an­glers on the river de­ters poach­ing. That may be a fact, how­ever, it was and is my un­der­stand­ing that most poach­ing is car­ried out at night when there are very few, if any, an­glers on the river, cer­tainly not le­gal ones.

Gale does raise some cred­i­ble is­sues re­gard­ing ef­fects of sein­ers and capelin stocks but then di­min­ishes the strength of these points by rais­ing the old buga­boo about pri­va­ti­za­tion of rivers, an­other lu­di­crous as­ser­tion of the con­spir­acy the­o­rist set.

In clos­ing, I note Gale states that the Ci­ti­zens Out­door Rights Al­liance “con­ser­va­tion group” plans to hold meetings. Pre­sum­ably they hope to have a greater at­ten­dance than the 11 souls that at­tended a rally in Deer Lake a few days ago.

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