The Salmonid Association of Eastern Newfoundland says the federal government had little choice but to close down the salmon fishery on the island.
Just over half of the rivers on the island are below the five-year average in terms of numbers, however the counts have increased over last year by about 24 per cent—27,000 salmon this year to 21,000.
Retention Salmon Fishery Ends After Sunset Today
Provincial Fisheries Minister Gerry Byrne is confused as to why DFO would open the fishery this year, only to close the retention component a short time later. Hook and release is still permitted, but the quota of one salmon per person has been eliminated as of one hour after sundown tonight.
There haven’t been any changes in Labrador, but DFO will do an assessment on rivers there next week.
Leo White, president of the Salmonid Association, says they used to be able to keep eight salmon once upon a time.
White says it would be foolhardy to keep the resource open to retention fishing under these conditions.