May 30, 2018
Today the Salmonid Association of Eastern Newfoundland (SAEN) sent an important letter to the Federal Minister of DFO requesting that the Newfoundland and Labrador Salmon rivers be opened June 1st for catch and release angling only, despite the unavailability licences. SAEN believes this is the only way to resolve the problems associated with a delayed season opening. If you like this idea, do write to Ministers LeBlanc and Byrne encouraging them to adopt this strategy. A transcript of the letter is shown below and you can download a pdf version of the letter here.
May 29, 2018
Honourable Dominic LeBlanc
Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard
House of Commons
Dear Minister LeBlanc:
On behalf of the members of the Salmonid Association of Eastern Newfoundland, I ask you to open all salmon rivers on Friday, June 1, 2018, to catch and release angling only, despite the unavailability licences. To be clear we are are referring to rivers that were scheduled to open on June 1. When licences and tags become available on June 15, anglers would be required to use them for both retention and catch and release angling. This should coincide with the opening of the Labrador recreational angling season. We ask that you amend regulations until our provincial government has the licences and tags ready for distribution.
As a result of the actions by the Government of Newfoundland Labrador, and Minister Gerry Byrne in particular, the 2018 recreation salmon fishing season scheduled to open this Friday, June 1, 2018, has been unnecessarily delayed and unfairly penalizes anglers.
We are disappointed, frustrated, and upset by the actions and comments of Minister Byrne which have resulted in this delay. DFO’s announcement on May 8, 2018 was a difficult one, but it was fair, balanced, and based on the best science available. We would have preferred our provincial government move ahead to make this angling season the best one possible under the circumstances. Such was not the case.
Opening the season on June 1 to catch and release will go far in salvaging the fishing season for anglers, tourists, and those who depend on the angling season for a living. This is possible, we believe, since the management plan from the last five years has been to open on June 1 and close in September. With the exception of no retention until tags are issued, the same rules would apply. Anyone with a salmon in his/her possession during that time would be in clear violation of the regulations.
We encourage you to give this request serious consideration. It would deter poaching on our rivers, and would give those who depend on and enjoy angling some very good news. Most of all such a decision would represent a very positive conclusion to the debacle caused by our provincial Minister of Fisheries and Land Resources.
Thank you for your attention to this matter, and we look forward to your reply.
Salmonid Association of Eastern Newfoundland