NL Salmon plan is both fair and balanced


Letter: NL Salmon plan is both fair and balanced

May 14, 2018

Although I had resolved to restrain from further discussing issues pertaining to Salmon management issues on Newfoundland, I feel compelled to write in response to Gary Gale’s letter dated May 10. Gale asserts that retention and hook-and-release anglers should share “pain due to cuts” equally.

No Mr. Gale, it should not be shared equally! A retained fish is a dead fish that is 100 per cent lost to the salmon population. End of story!

A fish that is hooked and released properly, and I emphasize properly, is in the vast majority of cases not lost to the population but rather is released, swims away and lives to spawn another day. These two things are not the same Mr. Gale, not even close. What drivel!

He then goes on to say that there is a token reduction in the release from four to three fish for hook-and-release anglers, and that this should be codified into regulation and monitored. How exactly, in this age of dwindling resources, does Gale propose that DFO, or anybody else, could mount such a program with any credibility. Maybe Minister Gerry Byrne could put his time to good and practical use and patrol rivers personally?

Gale also notes that hook-and-release anglers can release three fish per day, which equals 300 fish per 100-day season. I can only assume that he is a much more accomplished fishermen than I in terms of hooking three fish every day and is very lucky to be able to spend 100 days (every day of the season?) angling. Also where does he arrive at 10 per cent kill figure, surely the upper range of any reasonable assessment of the overall negative effect of hook-and-release?

I will defer to the expertise of Mr. Gale and others regarding the oft-touted perspective that the presence of anglers on the river deters poaching. That may be a fact, however, it was and is my understanding that most poaching is carried out at night when there are very few, if any, anglers are on the river, certainly not legal ones.

Gale does raise some credible issues regarding effects of seiners and caplin stocks but then diminishes the strength of these points by raising the old bugaboo about privatization of rivers, another ludicrous assertion of the conspiracy theorist set.

In closing I note that Gale states that the Citizens Outdoor Rights Alliance “conservation group” plans to hold meetings. Presumably they hope to have a greater attendance than the 11 souls that attended a rally in Deer Lake a few days ago.

Marvin Barnes

St. John’s