Something must be done to save the salmon



To the Editor:

 The salmon season is winding down for another year, with really low numbers.

Many anglers that I’ve been talking with still have tags to fill.

On Sept. 10, I was at a conference call with two members of the salmon association from Miramichi and Nova Scotia, including a member from the Department of Fisheries office all about the ongoing concerns about the low numbers of salmon in our rivers.

We all know that our Atlantic salmon travel large distances abroad and as far away as Greenland, so noted by scientists around the globe, and that we’re not the only anglers taking a stab at casting a fly for a bounty on the table. Selecting information about the salmon from all three interested parties concludes that we not only have a problem with seals taking our prized catch of the day.

The really big problem is thee increasing numbers of stripped bass which have quadrupled over the years and are taking our young parr, smolt, or fry. In layman’s terms, these are young salmon, being gobbled up in huge numbers.

Seals eat on average six to eight mature salmon a day, a percentage of 13 per cent. Whales and sharks take in 10 per cent, and the stripped bass are taking 49 per cent day in and day out.

This year in May, hoping to land a grisle or a number of sea trout, anglers were hooking many bass as far up as Middle Landing Bridge. Different anglers have been hooking the stripped species daily at the pump house on the Nepisiquit River in the merry go round thinking that a young salmon has taken their fly.

We need to establish a huge fishery on the stripped bass now, starting early May until freeze up in the late fall. Otherwise, our next generation will not have the opportunity to fish thee elusive Atlantic salmon, which will be extinct.

Different anglers have been bothered by the DFO officers, who have charged them with catching illegal sized stripped bass this summer and forked out many dollars in fines. To the Minister of Fisheries and the DFO officers, you need to think about the amount of dollars being spent on Salmon licences, which this year was $44.

I didn’t purchase a salmon licence this year. I chose a trout licence instead and will do so until the Minister of Fisheries announces that the bass fishery will be wide open on all estuaries in the province.    

All of you salmon fisherman who have children in your families and want to introduce them to the fly fishery in coming years, think of them hooking bass, because our salmon won’t be there.

If something isn’t done now for our salmon, later will be too late.  


Peter M. Frenette