With warmer temperatures, one’s thinking turns to Atlantic salmon and wild salmon rivers. This year the big news is the requirement to live release ALL salmon in those salmon rivers open in New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island.
There was good reason for this change, with last year’s return of salmon to the Miramichi, Northumberland Strait rivers and elsewhere being the lowest on record. With this in mind, it is worthwhile polishing techniques involved with live release, and one good way of doing this is to view a few times the video produced by ASF and FQSA with the assistance of the Quebec Government.
Check it out, with links to YOUTUBE lower resolution versions in English and French, and a link to VIMEO high resolution on ASF’s website. CLICK HERE:
Rivers are slowly opening up, and more often than not the ice is floating around enough to be a hazard to any boats or wading anglers yet, especially with temperatures still low and water levels high.
The big news of course is the change in the regulations this year. The formal notice is at:
Besides total live release, there is now a requirement to use single barbless hooks wherever it was previously necessary to use an artificial fly.
The other change is that STRIPED BASS retention season has been extended and modified. For full details:
The extended retention season for striped bass in 2015 is:
1. May 11 to 31
2. August 1 to 23
3. September 4 to 7
4. October 24 to October 31
Certainly concern has been noted in the past few years that striped bass predation on Atlantic salmon smolts has increased greatly. While research on this is still ongoing, most will be glad to see an extended season.
Debbie Norton notes that there has been considerable ice buildup and movement on both the Little Southwest Miramichi and Southwest Miramichi. With considerable scouring taking place there is a potential for alteration to pools in the river. At the same time the hope is that things will loosen up quite a bit by the coming week.
David Leblanc is reporting that the Canadian Coast Guard hovercraft has been breaking up the ice below the interprovincial bridges in Matapedia, and that the Kedgwick and Little Main Restigouche are largely free of ice.
Danny Bird notes:
No ice from the Restigouche backed up into the Kedgwick this year. The Kedgwick and Little Main Restigouche ran through with very little if any jamming and water back up.
We think there may yet be additional ice to come out of those two tributaries, however we are reasonably sure there will not be much damage as a result. Our only worry would be if we were to have an abnormal amount of rainfall which would put us in flood conditions.
Certainly many anglers are anticipating getting onto the rivers in the next week to fish for kelts.
Cheticamp – While Atlantic salmon season doesn’t open until mid-May, trout season is open on some parts of the river.
Rene Aucoin notes:
“The river has opened quite a bit since opening day of trout season last Wednesday when there was only one open section and lots of ice floating down. I had to trudge through a foot of snow to get to the river. I believe that that may be a first for this time of the year and – have been fishing here since the early 1970s. We are at least 4-5 weeks behind our normal Spring temperatures. The Spring thaws have yet to start and that the river is only of normal height.”
It is certainly that tantalizing moment, when winter will finally lift its grip on the rivers. Depending on water temperatures, they may not be heading downstream to the ocean for another month or so.