Changes in the rules dealing with fishing for salmon and trout on Crown reserve waters were introduced Wednesday in an effort to increase angling activity on the waters and bring in more money for government.

Under the changes, anglers will be allowed to apply for seven stretches of Crown water in the regular Crown reserve draw. And the $7 application fee will be charged once annually instead of each time a person applies.

Salmon fishing

Changes are being made in how anglers apply to fish Crown reserve waters in New Brunswick. (CBC)

Also, the mini-draw system used to award Crown reserve stretches that were unclaimed in the regular draw will be eliminated. Instead, unclaimed stretches will be filled through a first-come, first-served booking process.

"In 2012, the 40 Crown reserve stretches were used less than half the available days, so we believe there is great potential to increase the use of these waters and generate additional revenues," said Natural Resources Minister Paul Robichaud.

"Anglers have told us that the mini-draw system is overly complex and does not allow them to book far enough ahead,” said Robichaud.Half the available stretch dates in the regular draw in 2012 were not claimed and made available in the mini-draws held throughout the angling season. However, only 10 per cent of the available unclaimed dates were booked through the mini-draws.

“We need a system that is more client-orientated and will help us achieve our goal of greater utilization of the Crown reserve system.”

Applicants who were unsuccessful in the regular draw will be permitted to book unclaimed stretches on a first-come, first-served bases for two weeks beginning the second Monday in May. They will be limited to one stretch per unsuccessful applicant.

Starting on the first Monday in June, any remaining unclaimed stretches can be booked on a first-come, first-served bases by any resident angler.

Only New Brunswick residents can apply to fish on Crown reserve waters.