The truth about our salmon
Wow, I can’t believe how much has been written about the plight of our poor Atlantic salmon lately! While it all makes for very interesting reading — and I can’t wait to see who will be blaming who next for the salmon’s decline — the truth is no one has addressed a major factor in this decline.
Salmon populations may not be nearly as bad as DFO would have us believe because DFO has absolutely no handle on the number of salmon taken as bycatch or by poachers.
Would 25,000 to 50,000 dead salmon add significantly to their counting-fence data?
Did you know that you can buy wild, fresh Atlantic salmon in any of our outport communities in June and July?
And I don’t mean hundreds of salmon, I mean thousands.
Some come from our rivers, but most come from poachers’ nets in our isolated
bays. And the price is a bargain — $10 to $15 per fish, gutted, head on.
Did you know that caplin and herring seiners often set their nets at the mouths of salmon rivers in late June and July.
I wonder why? Combine this “bycatch” with the thousands of bait nets floating just under the surface and all the other fixed gear in our bays from April to July and you don’t have just hundreds of salmon killed, you have thousands. It’s starting to add up.
But DFO will never admit this … they might have to do something about it.
All of the bycatch and poached salmon is completely in the direct control of DFO; but they want all of us to believe these salmon are killed by some “black box” way out at sea. What a crock
I, for one, will not believe that their counting- fence data is truly representative of our salmon populations until this is addressed.
Personally, I couldn’t care less if I ever kill another salmon. I have killed my fair share over the past 60 years. But I certainly still want to go fishing, even if I am severely restricted.
But that won’t happen if the powers-that-be continue to sit behind their desks and ignore the truth about our salmon.
It is completely irresponsible for any individual or group to call for a complete closure or total catch-and-release for our recreational salmon fishery withouta commitment from DFO for a 10-fold increase in salmon enforcement.
To do otherwise is to destroy our salmon.
Do they not understand Newfoundland’s salmon culture? I would strongly suggest that the Telegram editorial board, DFO, Atlantic Salmon Federation, Fisheries Minister Gerry Byrne, Citizen’s Outdoor Rights Alliance and the local salmon groups go to our outport communities and sit down and talk (like I have) to the local residents.
These people have our salmon rivers running through their back gardens and they know what’s really going on.
Unfortunately, they seem to be the only ones.
Rick Maddigan St. John’s