Salmon plan neither fair nor balanced
This plan eliminates a significant number of retention anglers from our rivers as they will not buy a license. The presence of these anglers is critical on our rivers as they are true stewards of the resource and deter poaching. This is not a conservation plan, this is a privatization plan.
Since the closure of our rivers to Retention Angling by DFO last summer, the Citizens Outdoor Rights Alliance (CORA) has advocated for fair and balanced salmon management plans.
To do so, if there has to be pain due to cuts, it has to be shared equally by retention and hook-and-release anglers.
The recently released plan by DFO is not fair and balanced for the following reasons:
For retention anglers, retention has gone from six fish to one, with the possibility of another after an in-season review. Yet there is a token decrease of four fish to three for catch-andrelease anglers.
For the hook-and-cook angler this means an angling season of 20 minutes, yet hookand-release anglers can fish for approximately 100 days and legally release three per day, which equals 300 fish.
So the retention angler potentially kills one (direct mortality), whereas the hookand-release angler kills 30 at a 10 per cent kill rate (indirect mortality) - not to mention a fall catch-and-release fishery.
Once again there is no plan to regulate hook and release. DFO offers excellent scientific advice on proper catch-and-release techniques, such as keep the salmon in the water at all times, cease catch-and-release fishing in very warm water conditions. Yet they refuse to upgrade this advice to regulation which then could be monitored and enforced.
This plan eliminates a significant number of retention anglers from our rivers as they will not buy a license.
The presence of these anglers is critical on our rivers as they are true stewards of the resource and deter poaching.
This is not a conservation plan, this is a privatization plan.
This is about the almighty dollar, otherwise a more significant cut in catch and release would have been made and regulations imposed on hook and release.
There is still no plan to address what is going on in our oceans. Caplin stocks, one of the main sources of food for salmon, are significantly declining. Seiners are still scooping up salmon as bycatch in other fisheries, and the list goes on.
DFO and Minister Dominic LeBlanc have identified the retention angler as the problem. So significantly cut retention or eliminate altogether - problem solved.
Sadly this will not be the case. So, for the Citizens Rights Alliance the fight continues for a fair and balanced plan. Public meeting are planned over the next few days.