'Mystery' surrounds why salmon aren't biting, outfitter says
Outfitters on Miramichi, Restigouche rivers say salmon aren't biting this year, despite good conditions
Outfitters along the Miramichi and Restigouche rivers say conditions are fine for this season's salmon fishing but for some reason, the fish just aren't biting this year.
Fishermen are known for passing around tall tales about their experiences on the water. But some of the stories being passed around this year aren't the kind that Keith Wilson likes to hear.
“It's a mystery," he said.
"We're getting reports from as far away as Russia, Iceland, Newfoundland, Quebec rivers, everybody is running late, or in some cases, the runs didn't show up at all."
Wilson owns Wilson's Sporting Camps in McNamee along the Miramichi River, where his clients are booking later and later each year, or not at all.
Wilson said anglers know the conditions on the Miramichi as well as he does, thanks to the internet. He said American anglers account for 80 per cent of his business.
Anglers get up to date information on where the fish are biting and book their trips accordingly.
He said these later bookings are starting to impact his business.
“People won't come if you don't have any fish," he said.
"You know the guys in Boston know what the river is doing as well as I do. All the information is online. If the fish don't show up then the people just don't come. So it's hurting business for sure."
Wilson said he supports the New Brunswick Salmon Council's call for anglers to catch and release.
“We've been in the business since 1855 and there's always cycles, good years and bad years, but you know, it seems like the bad years are getting more frequent,” he said.
Wilson said he's adapting his business to stay in the black. He's offering outdoor packages that have more to do with nature and depend less on the fish.