Keith – with all possible respect I think the problem is not because of the number of smolts leaving the Miramichi for the ocean. I am not a biologist, but I do know from the MSA reports that parr levels throughout the system are good. The worst issues seem to be at sea, and the percentage of smolts that return as either grilse or MSW salmon are much lower than they were 20 years ago. The race is on to try to find out exactly why, though most people seem confident that various aspects of commercial fishing are to blame. Either our salmon are being taken by directed fisheries, taken as bycatch, or the food that they go to Greenland to eat has been vacuumed up for fish paste or whatever.
If parr counts do slip than increased hatchery work is important, but in the meantime releasing 100% of all returning fish is the most sensible measure I can think of. We are still killing a lot of grilse, and the native fishery still kills adult salmon. It all needs to stop. Allowing any fish to be kept simply invites cheating.
Zero retention by anyone, single barbless hooks maximum #4 in size should be 2015’s regulation. And oh yes, let’s relax the striped bass regs. I’m an old fan of stripers here in America, and I’m not asking to fish them out, but through complete protection their numbers have become artificially high, and they need to be brought back down to more reasonable numbers. Brad Burns
Thanks Brad- I think many people are in denial and are “beating a dead horse” . If it is not working , based on historical levels of salmon in New Brunswick , why continue the current approach . If the ocean is the problem then all the more reason to do more in fresh water . I agree that for the present and near future we cannot afford to kill any more salmon. But I am on side with the general public of New Brunswick, as well as first nations that we want enough fish in all rivers to allow us to enjoy the sport but also the food that could be there . With so many places in the world being completely decimated of wild fish and game I think we owe it to mankind to save the Atlantic salmon for food as well as recreation , before it is too late . A clean reliable food source produced right here on our own rivers in New Brunswick can be achieved using today’s technology and resources . On top of that we need to incorporate into my plan a major river to river pool restoration and pool development as well as cold water protection and enhancement . Basically the same thing that is going on now but on a much larger scale , starting first with public pools . We need the support of the general public on all fronts , they need to know that they have a place to fish and that their pools are being fixed up too .
You are welcome to share this with anyone you want . Please note that all my correspondence on the subject will be shared in the public forum , ie. Facebook and my web site . We need public support.