DFO NL strikes conservation balance on recreational fishery

May 8, 2018

DFO NL strikes conservation balance on recreational fishery

ST. JOHN’S – The Atlantic Salmon Federation respects DFO’s 2018 recreational salmon fishing plan for Newfoundland and Labrador. Reducing the number of tags issued at the outset of the season from six to one, and declaring dozens of small rivers off-limits to retention is an effective response to consecutive years of significant population declines. 

“DFO has taken a proactive approach to risk management for the 2018 salmon angling season,” said ASF President Bill Taylor. “We don’t know what will transpire this year and by limiting the recreational harvest to a single fish until a mid-season assessment, DFO has made a decision in the interest of conservation.”

ASF’s recommendation was to begin the 2018 recreational angling season as live release with a mid-season review. If results at that time indicated conservation requirements would be met, ASF supported the issuance of up to two tags for the remainder of the season.

“From a pure conservation perspective, live release to begin the season would be most effective,” said Steve Sutton, ASF’s Coordinator of Community Outreach and Engagement. “But DFO’s plan strikes a reasonable balance between the need to take a cautious approach, the need to keep anglers engaged, and the need to support jobs associated with the fishery in rural Newfoundland and Labrador.”

Although data indicates that most anglers in Newfoundland and Labrador practice both retention and live release angling for Atlantic salmon, the rule changes for 2018 will likely mean an increase in the number of fish released. 

“It’s important for people to use the best practices when it comes to fish handling,” said Sutton. “Doing so can greatly reduce the already small chance of any associated mortality.”

ASF encourages all anglers to inform themselves on the proper technique for live release fishing and has produced a demonstration video on the topic. You can view this short instructional film by clicking here - http://asf.ca/live-releae.html

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For more information contact:
Neville Crabbe – ASF Communications
(506) 467-6804

The Atlantic Salmon Federation was formed in 1948 to conserve, protect, and restore wild Atlantic salmon and the environment all fish depend on.

High Resolution Image for Media Use

Leaping salmon at Big Falls, Humber River. Tom Moffatt/ASF 2.6MB