Striped Bass – MSA Response to the Minister

MSA President Mark Hambrook attended the DFO consultation held at Metepenagiag Lodge on March 19th. The e-mail to Minister Ashfield below was MSA’s initial response to the meeting at which DFO told attendees they were going to close all angling fisheries from the Newcastle Bridge to the Red Bank bridge from May 1st to June 30th.

DFO has subsequently met with Mark, Jim Laws, and Miramichi Watershed Management Committee President Debbie Norton to discuss the issues further and have said they would consider the upper limit being Boom Point (Gordie Wilson’s). As of this date, the lower boundary is still not resolved.

          March 21st, 2013

          Dear Minister Ashfield:

          DFO officials have been consulting with user groups regarding a striped bass management plan for 2013 that may involve opening the angling season for bass for a short period of time.  The Miramichi Salmon Association believes the huge numbers of striped bass are having a negative impact on our salmon smolts as they migrate to the ocean and measures need to be taken to reduce the overall numbers to a sustainable level so all species can thrive and survive.  We were disappointed to learn that DFO has already published in the Canada Gazette their plan to close a large section of the Northwest Miramichi in May and June to all angling where a considerable number of anglers legitimately fish for salmon and trout.

          I have attached a document that provides some background information and outlines some of our concerns.  The document also offers a proposal that will conserve the striped bass and respect our Atlantic salmon sport industry.

          Thank you for your consideration,

          Mark Hambrook, President

To read the 4 page document – Comments Regarding a Striped Bass Angling Season on the Miramichi River in 2013

1 Comment

  1. Jeff Whyte on April 6, 2013 at 1:07 am

    A very good piece of work overall. Great comments and suggestions on gear restriction(use of barbless hooks), gill and trap net fishery impacts, etc…

    Only one glaring concern…

    Why a recommendation for closure of any part of the river to recreational angling for other species as part of a proposed management plan for striped bass?

    This would appear to be almost contradictory to some of the earlier and very well made points including that of a thriving population with more spawning fish than “ever before in living memory.” This with no such closure having previously been in place.

    I would have seen it as being far more appropriate to suggest the current practice of no angling or targeting of the species during this time frame. Difficult to argue the fact that recreational angling for other species in these waters has had a negative impact on this population…(I for one would dearly love to see the hard data that exists to support such a claim). I remain adamantly opposed to any closures for this reason but fully support the efforts being made to protect our trout and salmon stocks.

    Always difficult to try and find some middle ground and I certainly respect your position on this. I would only caution that one wants to be very careful with what they ask for. If history is any indication, once closed…it’s closed. It’s not justifiable and as such we shouldn’t have to concede.

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