Strapped for salmon

Main­land fish­er­man says de­lay in non-res­i­dent li­cences cur­tail­ing travel plans

The Western Star - - CLOSE TO HOME - Telegram@thetele­

Jim Sem­ple is get­ting ner­vous about his an­nual fish­ing trip to New­found­land and Labrador.

The Oakville, Ont., man said he’s been com­ing to the prov­ince for 23 years to go salmon fish­ing in Portland Creek on the Great North­ern Penin­sula.

This year, though, when he called around as usual for a re­tailer to set aside non-res­i­dent li­cences for him and his two sons, there weren’t any avail­able.

Sem­ple said he called the pro­vin­cial Depart­ment of Fish­eries and didn’t get any in­di­ca­tion when they would be avail­able.

“The peak run is the last week of June, early July. That’s a week or two away with no res­i­dent li­cences,” he said. “No­body has any time­frame.” Sem­ple said he most en­joys the catch and re­lease as­pect of the fish­ing, so the re­ten­tion limit doesn’t bother him.

He said any­one com­ing in from out of prov­ince would want to plan their trip, and this has an im­pact on var­i­ous busi­nesses that rely on the fish­ing tourists.

A re­tailer in Deer Lake told The Telegram that ven­dors re­ceived an email a cou­ple of days ago from in­land fish­eries say­ing only res­i­dent in­di­vid­ual and fam­ily li­cences are avail­able so far.

Some re­tail­ers said it is un­usual they aren’t avail­able yet, but they have or­dered them.

The prov­ince was rac­ing last month to print salmon li­cences due to a prob­lem with the fed­eral gov­ern­ment, which sets man­age­ment de­ci­sions of the At­lantic salmon sea­son.

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