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Citizens Outdoor Rights Alliance members confronts MP Gudie Hutchings in Reidville about new salmon fishing regulations

Gudie Hutchings, left, talks with members of the Citizens Outdoor Rights Alliance members who confronted the MP for Long Range Mountains about salmon fishing regulations during her visit to Reidville Thursday.
Gudie Hutchings, left, talks with members of the Citizens Outdoor Rights Alliance members who confronted the MP for Long Range Mountains about salmon fishing regulations during her visit to Reidville Thursday. - Gary Kean

The Citizens Outdoor Rights Alliance said they couldn’t get MP Gudie Hutchings to attend one of their meetings to discuss this year’s salmon angling regulations, so they went to her directly Thursday.

Around 15 members of the group confronted the Liberal Commons member as she was entering an agriculture press conference in Reidville.

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The alliance does not like the 2018 salmon fishing regulations announced by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans. The rules for this season limit anglers to retaining one fish, at least up until an in-season review of salmon returns.

The group feels retention anglers are being punished for the decline in stocks and want Hutchings to be a stronger voice for them in Ottawa.

“We don’t think Gudie has done enough to represent us,” said Gary Gale, the president of the alliance.

Hutchings said she supports making decisions based on the available science. She did say more science is needed to get to the bottom of why salmon stocks are hurting and agreed with the alliance that more enforcement of hook-and-release angling is also needed to help keep the stocks healthy.

“I’m not being responsible for the last salmon being taken out of the rivers,” she said to the group about arguing against the science-based decision to place strict limits on the fishery this year.

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