Dear Editor: Atlantic Salmon Federation president William (Bill) Taylor has said that anglers should never again keep an Atlantic salmon. He believes all Atlantic salmon caught on a fly by an angler should be released back to the river.
Many outfitting lodges in Newfoundland and Labrador promote this practice, but not all.
Many anglers who come to this province to fish salmon want to keep a fish or two.
And many outfitting lodges in this province have this policy for their anglers, but not all.
Newfoundlanders and Labradorians give about $250,000 to this organization, plus the government of Canada gives about another $200,000.
The policy of catch and release is promoted by the Atlantic Salmon Federation, and I as a salmon angler for 45 years, feel that this policy is detrimental to Atlantic salmon. The Atlantic Salmon Federation does have supporters in Newfoundland and Labrador, as well as the rest of Canada and the U.S.A.
I would ask that the readers of this article go to the ASF website and see who gives charitable donations to this organization.
You can find who donates to this organization by going to the annual report on the ASF website (asf.ca). The amounts of the donations are not given, but a range is provided as well as corporate donations.
Anglers can view those themselves, just go to the website and follow the links. Newfoundland and Labrador has over 90 per cent of all wild Atlantic salmon rivers in North America.
The majority of salmon anglers in Newfoundland and Labrador catch fish to eat, and do not support the ASF proposal to have hook and release only .... forever.
At a public meeting held in Clarenville on June 27 last year, the public demanded that DFO totally reject this ASF proposal and that the organizers of this meeting — the Newfoundland and Labrador Wildlife Federation — contact the prime minister and the federal Fisheries minister and demand that this proposal be rejected outright.
The Liberal Party of Canada had representatives at this meeting and agreed to support the public on this issue.
Minister Gail Shea was contacted and she wrote to the wildlife federation and the Qalipu Mi’kmaq First Nations Band stating that DFO had no intention of accepting this proposal.
Ward W. Samson, past-president, Newfoundland and Labrador Wildlife Federation