For immediate release
March 14, 2014
St Andrews, N.B.— The Atlantic Salmon Federation (ASF) welcomes the latest numbers from the Quebec government on large salmon returns for the 2013 season, but is most concerned over plummeting numbers of grilse, which are adult salmon that spend only one winter at sea before returning to spawn.
According to the government’s recently-launched report, the return of large salmon was eight percent above the five-year, overall average in 2013. Returns of grilse, however, decreased by 47 percent.
ASF is encouraged to see that live-release is becoming more popular in Quebec. Although anglers are not subject to mandatory reporting, more than 9,000 salmon were recorded as having been released back into the water. “This means that more than 60 percent of the salmon caught in Quebec in 2013 were also released,” says Charles Cusson, ASF’s Director of Quebec Programs. “It’s good to see that live-release angling is catching on in this province. This is a great contribution by anglers to sustaining Quebec’s salmon runs.”
The Ministry of Sustainable Development, Environment, Wildlife and Parks conducts rigorous monitoring of abundance and exploitation of wild Atlantic salmon in Quebec. In 2013, 27,167 adult salmon were counted in the 38 rivers where counts were performed. A total of 5,770 salmon were killed by anglers. Of these, 2,855 were grilse (49 percent) and 2,915 were large salmon (51 percent).
QUICK FACTS regarding wild Atlantic salmon returns by region:
• Chaleur Bay- returns of large salmon were 12 percent above the five year average, while grilse were 43 percent below average. An increasing of 35 percent was observed in the angling catch of large salmon, and live release rates increased by 20 percent compared with 5-year average.
• Gaspé Peninsula-increase of 4 percent in returns, as well as a 53 percent reduction in catches, while live-released salmon rates rose 32 percent compared with the 5-year average.
• Declining catches were more pronounced on the north shore of the St. Lawrence River with a decrease of 56 percent, while the south shore of the St. Lawrence River experienced a decrease of 26 percent.
• Lower St. Lawrence and the north shore of the Gaspésie-returns of large salmon increased by 25 percent, large salmon catches were up 27 percent.
• In the Quebec region- returns decreased by 35 percent over the 5-year average, mainly due to low return of grilse, while live release rates have increased by 30 percent.
• In the Saguenay-the returns of grilse decreased 69 percent and sport catches experienced a decrease of 77 percent from the 5-year average.
The Atlantic Salmon Federation is dedicated to the conservation, protection and restoration of wild Atlantic salmon and the ecosystems on which their well-being and survival depend. ASF has a network of seven regional councils (New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador, Prince Edward Island, Quebec, Maine and Western New England). The regional councils cover the freshwater range of the Atlantic salmon in Canada and the United States.
ASF Contact: Holly Johnson, Manager of Public Information: (506)529-1033(o)
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