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LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Problems with salmon licensing

MAIN BROOK, N.L. —

To the editor,

The cost of a salmon license this year is $23 plus $3 HST.

The province sold 28,042 licenses in 2018, equalling approximately $1 million. The cost of a two-year hook and release study on Western Arm Brook is approximately $500,000. 

In effect, the license holders are paying for this study. One year of the study is completed, this year will be indicative of the second year of the study.

In Newfoundland and Labrador, Tag numbers 2, 5 and 6 go in the dump, not permitted to be used. Class 0 rivers equals catch and release only. Class 2 rivers, 1 salmon. Class 3 ,4, 6 and unclassified rivers GREEN tags only. A retention limit of one fish on Class 2 rivers and a retention limit of 2 fish on Class 3 and 4, only green tags can be used on all rivers in NL. This is very convoluted!

So, as I have stated above, no number 2, no number 5 or number 6 tag to be used. One must buy them, but throw them away. More plastic in our landfills and that includes the plastic bag the licenses are packaged in. Effectively, a licensed salmon holder can keep three salmon, but you can hook and release three per day legally. As I stated before, if June has 30 days and July and August 31 days each a license holder can hook and release three per day equalling approximately 276 salmon which can be legally hooked and released but no temperature protocol this year. Salmon death rates increase exponentially as temperature increases.

Do not lay the blame on the provincial Department of Fisheries, as they must produce the licenses. DFO makes the rules for salmon angling. The provincial government is mandated to have tags for the beginning of the season, but the federal Department of Fisheries establishes the number of tags and what ones can be used; and still no booklets are available. I am debating if I am going to buy a license this year.

As I stated before, enforcement of our inland waters is enforced by contract and supported by DFO and provincial enforcement officers -Danny's boys. Effectively, tags have been reduced by 50 per cent and be careful of the one you use. But a license holder can legally hook and release about 289 atlantic salmon.

Ward Samson -B.A., B.ED.,M.ED.
MAIN BROOK, NL.

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