Fisheries and Land Resources
March 29, 2018

Provincial Government Releases Recommendations for the 2018-19 Salmon Season

The Honourable Gerry Byrne, Minister of Fisheries and Land Resources, today released the Provincial Government’s position on the inland management of Atlantic salmon for the 2018-19 season. The province’s position was made clear to the Department of Fisheries and Oceans through the Salmon Advisory Council during the council’s meeting held March 27 in St. John’s.

Similar to last year’s plan, the province recommends that anglers be issued six tags for a retention fishery, but with measures that will prescribe both retention and hook and release angling opportunities co-exist throughout the full angling season for all Class 2 and Class 4 rivers. In support of this strong conservation ethic, the following checks should be in place to ensure conservation of the salmon stock:

  • Two retention tags to be authorized for June with an in-season review completed at month’s end, or as early as possible in July;
  • If stocks are deemed sufficient at the end of June to support further fish mortality, two more tags will be issued for July;
  • If a consensus is found that further fish removals cannot be supported at the end of June, angling will cease for all fishers until a further scientific review can be conducted at the end of July; and
  • Then, based on the outcome of a second review at the end of July, two final tags would be issued for the remainder of the angling season if warranted or the season will remain closed for all further angling.

The position of the Provincial Government recognizes the primacy of conservation and that both retention and hook and release angling result in fish mortality. Based on that principle, if stocks are shown to be endangered by further removals of salmon, reasonable conservation requirements would necessitate a closure of inland fishing activity.

The Federal Government holds jurisdiction over the management of marine and inland fisheries in Newfoundland and Labrador. The provincial Department of Fisheries and Land Resources, however, has been delegated the authority to issue and distribute licenses to harvest salmon based on federal requirements.

Under existing federal regulatory requirements, salmon licences are issued with six tags.

“Offering six tags per angler based on the results of two in-season reviews is the best option for the coming season; a measured response that reflects our strong commitment to conservation. This approach maintains the social contract with anglers, who provide stewardship on the province’s rivers and reduce poaching, results in no significant impact for the outfitting industry, and allows for social and economic benefits for the people of the province. Retaining six tags per angler, with the clear option of a closure if low salmon returns warrant, further helps to ensure salmon stocks are protected, which must always remain our highest priority.”
Honourable Gerry Byrne
Minister of Fisheries and Land Resources

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Media contact
Connie Boland
Fisheries and Land Resources
709-637-2923, 640-6409

2018 03 29                              1:50 p.m.