Healthy freshwater conditions, and successful migration to and from the ocean, are absolutely essential to the survival of wild Atlantic salmon and a return to historic high levels. These rivers need to be well oxygenated, have cool water and sufficient food for young salmon, and we need to protect them from the presence of invasive species predators such as smallmouth bass and pickerel. There needs to be sufficient protection against poachers, and residents who understand the importance of wild Atlantic salmon to the environment.
In some regions of the North American range of wild Atlantic salmon, such as in rivers flowing into the Gulf of St. Lawrence, in some areas of Newfoundland, and elsewhere, conditions appear to be healthy, overall.
An important part of keeping these rivers healthy is having a large number of conservation-minded anglers on the water, watching for illegal activity, and themselves practicing live release angling.
Wild Atlantic Salmon Has Economic Importance
A recent study by consultants Gardner-Pinfold and commissioned by ASF determined that angling industry was vitally important to the rural areas in which it occurred. Among the important facts:
Value of wild Atlantic salmon was $255 Million
Anglers spent $128 Million
Value to Provinces in GDP (Gross Domestic Product) was $150 Million
The study also determined that wild Atlantic salmon were an important employer:
Atlantic salmon supported 3,872 full-time equivalent (FTE) jobs in 2010
About 10,500 seasonal jobs depend on income from wild Atlantic salmon
ASF President Bill Taylor explains other aspects of the economic importance of wild Atlantic salmon.
ASF encourages governments both federal and provincial to take their responsibilities seriously for protecting the Atlantic salmon runs.
ASF also supports better assessment of wild Atlantic salmon runs. In some regions such as Labrador, the sampling now undertaken cannot give sufficient understanding of how the populations are doing.
ASF reminds government that every river has its own characteristics, and both protection and restoration of Atlantic salmon runs must take into account these differences.