Salmon fishing restricted on Miramichi River
Catch-and-release ordered by federal government
A fishing camp owner on New Brunswick's Miramichi River system doesn't believe federal restrictions placed on salmon fishing will have a major impact on her business.
Debbie Norton, who runs Upper Oxbow Outdoor Adventures that caters to salmon anglers on the Little Southwest Miramichi, said many of her clients catch and release their fish anyway, so she doesn't expect any problems from the new rules.
The Department of Fisheries and Oceans has imposed a three-year catch-and-release order on certain sections of the river to allow stocks to replenish. The restrictions take effect July 6.
Norton said she believes conservation will only benefit her operation in the long run.
"It takes big fish to make baby fish to come back as big fish. So if all of the big fish are harvested, then obviously our river is going to die," Norton said Saturday. "So hopefully, it's short-term pain for long-term gain."
The province of New Brunswick said anglers whose names were drawn to fish Crown reserve stretches on the Northwest Miramichi would have their money refunded if they prefer not to catch-and-release.
Norton said that happened last year and 30 per cent took up the offer. But she said that likely won't mean less fishing in Crown waters.
"There's a mini-draw," Norton said. "So, for instance if you and I decided not to go on July 10, I'm sure there's other people willing to go in our place."
The catch-and-release angling program for those sections of the Miramichi River system will be reviewed in the 2013 season, and a decision will be made whether it should continue.