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Outdoor rights group waiting to see what 2018 salmon plan will bring

CORA interim chair Gary Gale speaks during Wednesday night’s meeting at the Royal Canadian Legion in Deer Lake.
CORA interim chair Gary Gale speaks during a meeting in this Western Star file photo. - Diane Crocker

The Citizens Outdoor Rights Alliance (CORA) has told a federal government department to expect civil disobedience if the recreational salmon fishery is closed to retention angling this year.

Gary Gale, chair of the alliance, wouldn’t say exactly what that means when he spoke with The Western Star on Thursday.

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Last summer the group, which has in excess of 2,000 members, became active in speaking out about the Department of Fisheries and Oceans' (DFO) decision to close salmon rivers to retention fishing while allowing catch and release.

The 2018 salmon plan has yet to be released, and that is causing a lot of uncertainty for the outdoor rights group.

The group is concerned the change could become permanent and believes it is a way to get retention anglers off the rivers.

As it waits for word on what will happen this season the group is planning a series of meetings with members to discuss the issue. The first will take place at Club 64 in Corner Brook on Feb. 13 at 7:30 p.m. with provincial Fisheries and Land Resources Minister Gerry Byrne as guest speaker.

Gale said the executive of the group attended DFO meetings in Gander in November and spent two days at the table with other stakeholders. After that the group put forward a position to DFO that it feels is a balanced and fair approach.

“If there’s going to be pain here, it’s got to be shared equally by all,” he said.

The group is also hoping to get an invitation to DFO’s regional advisory process meetings in St. John’s later this month.

The outdoor rights group is also planning to hold meetings in Deer Lake, Grand Falls-Windsor, St. Anthony and St. John’s.

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