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Salmon Chaser 04-22-2005 10:41 PM

C&R- Are you in or out???
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On the first day I became a salmon angler I also became a catch and release angler. There were no great political speeches and beatings of the chest, it was just from the first time i held a salmon in my hands I decided, then and there, which road I would take. Actually, it may have evn been years later that i realized what i was and that i had been a C&R guy all along. I have never killed one,, never even thought of maybe taking just one as it couldnt possibly hurt anything. I have bought into this practice 100%. I have heard the theories that too many fish in a system may actually be detrimental to the stocks. Hearing and believing are two different things entirely. I guess the reason for the post was a topic raised on another board where a member stated that catch and release only benefits in the short term and that the main goal should be habitat orientated. I agreed to a point, though couldnt agree with the statement that C&R"will not benefit the species"
It got me to thinking as to the legitamite reasons for C&R and why it is so important in todays salmon world. I know why I practice and believe in it but i thought I would like to hear why others practice and believe in it too.
By the way, this goes for wild steelhead as well. Wild Steelhead and Atlantic Salmon,, jeez,,, just the sound makes my hair stand on end.
This isnt a poll to see who practices,, just a thread to hear why you do.
Salmon Chaser

billg 04-22-2005 11:03 PM

Salmon Chaser:

I am with you on C&R; I release all of my grilse and salmon. Habitat and logging are important issues and shouldn't be neglected. But, the only thing that we as anglers can do is release our salmon. The theories of ocean temps being too warm, too cold, too many seals, etc are beyond our control. Proper managment of the resource is what has brought salmon back in Quebec and I hope that will continue (I believe that the management in Quebec is working well).

I do believe, though, that C&R is a personal choice and that it can't be forced upon anyone.

I can only say that in Quebec the government and the river associations keep a very close eye on the populations and are quick to take measures when necessary. A couple of years ago when the fish were late and many (inlcuding myself thought the worse) rivers went to C&R very quickly (the fish were late that year). The rivers that have had declining runs like the St. Jean, Dartmouth, and Grande have seen their regulations change and salmon numbers have rebounded.

Today, the number of salmon on those rivers is noticeably more than a few years ago and all have the option of being open for the retention of large salmon. The Dartmouth is the only one of those that does allow large salmon to be retained but only after a mid-season count is done to make sure that there is an ample number of spawners in the river. The river managers and the governement must balance the resource against the needs and desires of anglers and I believe they are doing a good job.

There has been talk in Quebec about changing the tag system from the present system of 7 tags (for large and/or small salmon). This will in all likellihood involve input from everyone concerned (gov't, anglers, river managers, etc).

39 more days until opening day on the Gaspe. I will be on the York. Where will others be?

Bill Greiner

D3Smartie 04-22-2005 11:13 PM

i have kept maybe 3 grilse in the 8 years i have been fishing. Now i feel there is no need to keep them and i learned much more about the fishery than when i first started. I have all the pacific salmon i can eat.
Just in talking to my dad and friends who have been fishing for atlantics for 60 plus years the ups and downs of the fishery that they have experienced are amazing.
Hearing the difference between the 1970s and today as far as size of fish returning makes me believe in what we are doing with CnR and i hope that our efforts today are as noticeable to me as they have been to my friends and family.

billg 04-22-2005 11:15 PM


Great release shot!

Where and when was the picture taken? Did you ever catch the shows on Outdoor channel?


D3Smartie 04-22-2005 11:32 PM

i havent caught the newer ones yet. I believe my friend has them "TiVo"ed for me but i am not possitive...

That photo is from Jimmy's Pool, Restigouche River, new brunswick. A very bright day. July 7 2004 On a rusty rat if i remember correctly

Salmon Chaser 04-22-2005 11:41 PM

David, you and i have to fish together someday!! And by the way, that is an awfully small little fish you just let go :Eyecrazy: :razz:
And yes, onr here and one there does not hurt. One male grilse from time to time is entirely irrelevant in the grand scheme(even better if its a hatchery).
I am not so set that i cant see the (whats the word) in keeping a grilse from time to time. I choose not to and thats just me. Bill, You may or may nort know how i stand on the retention of MSW salmon,,, if you dont,, I think its appalling!!!!!!!!!!
Regardless of counts, individual rivers, provinces or countries,,, the killing of a large salmon should carry a prison sentence in my eyes :mad: I have seen it firdt hand on the Matapedia and Matane and it almost makes me cry :frown: at the thought of seeing those big fish smacked and tossed into those clear plastic body bags that are so popular up there.
With regards to your comment of C&R being a personal choice- I agree but dont be afraid to voice an opinion astream though as how else are they going to know?
What is the number of tags they are shooting for?? PEI Has just gone down to four from seven,, and Robert Anderson on the River Philip(Nova Scotia) has been pushing for a decrease to two for that system.
BTW Bill, last year you had some friends of mine with you. They bid the trip you donated to the PEISA dinner. Blaine dunnett, Jean Beauregard, Tom Mann , and Mark Duguay. All had a wonderful trip!!! Perhaps you and i will meet on a river somewhere and someday.
Dwayne Miller

D3Smartie 04-23-2005 12:51 AM

Fine here is a little guy about to go back. I love looking at these pictures and wondering where these fish are, if i am going to meet them again, or if i am going to catch their progeny later in my life. There was one fish with a big seal or net mark on it that we caught twice 2 years ago. Very distinct mark. I think it was about 7 days apart. But great to be able to catch it twice.

I am going to have to find some of the old hard copies of pictures we have... there are some good release shots in there.

Salar-1 04-23-2005 07:36 AM

I'm mostly a C& R fisherman .I will ,however, keep the occasional fish ,and that does include the very occasional Atlantic.
Bill mentioned Habitat and logging practices.
THIS IS ,IMHO, the prime important factor in protecting the species !
You mentioned the Matane and Matapedia rivers. The Matane is well known for it's particular horror show,in that very few fish are released. That being said, (and please don't get me wrong here, I'm NOT condoning aggressive C&K practices)the very long stretch of head waters of this river are aggressively protected , resulting in one of Quebec's largest run of fish. If this practice was followed on other Quebec rivers we'd definately see greater returns of Salmon. Personally ,harassing fish, even when practicing C&R, on sectors such as Maison Blanc on the York, sector 5 on the Madeleine and Sector 6 on Grande Riviere is nothing short of criminal ! Especially indulging in the sport during hot summer months ! May I humbly include the ungracefull practice of intentionally fishing for black Salmon as a damaging factor to returns?

QuebecSporting 04-23-2005 08:33 AM

Morning Salar-1
I must say I agree with your last post!

Catch & Release in pools holding 100 to 400 fish in low water conditions, I think should be dry fly only and NO MORE than 2 releases / angler.
- respect for the salmon
- respect for the anglers fishing the next day
- I would ban mid-sink lines and stripping flies in low water conditions pools.

On another point, we are a very few permitted to fish (since yesterday) on the three Gaspé rivers for black salmon ( until May 25th). It's an experimental fishing...(not open to public) to see if there could be a good fishery etc...
I'll keep you posted with photos and our catches, if any.

And as you say, it must be "graceful" fishing!!!!! :mad:

(out with my spey notes..... :confused: )


billg 04-23-2005 09:15 AM


We enjoyed having your friends up last season. They were a lot of fun and really enjoyed themselves. They spoke highly of you.

I haven't kept a grilse in 8 years (11 for a big salmon) and won't in the future, regardless of whether the runs return to historical numbers. And, I don't relish seeing salmon either killed on the river or brought to a zec for registration purposes.

As Brian knows, there is a long tradition in Quebec (they are not the only anglers who register large salmon) of retaining salmon. Catch and release is fairly new to the province; there has only been a C&R license for about 7 years. In that time a lot of changes have occurred. The introduction of C&R; rivers being managed as C&R rivers instead of being completely shut down to fishing (ie Maine); C&R periods on rivers; C&R zones on rivers, etc. This has not taken place overnight but is an evolution. Personally I would like to see C&R mandatory for large salmon but that is a decision of many as I have mentioned.

I do have the choice about whom I take as a client and we are a catch and release camp. Last season guests retained 3 grilse and no large salmon. This season we are only taking full C&R clients (I have turned away several potential bookings) and that is my choice. Most of the commercial establishments on the Gaspe that I am aware of share the same views as myself. There are still a few that do take customers who retain large salmon but that, too, is their choice.

I am not sure what has been proposed relative to tags. I would think that this info. will become publicized as the process for change (or potential change) moves forward.


I am not sure what your concern is with sector 12 on the York or sector 6 on the Grande. The fish have plenty of room to spread out and rest in these areas. If you prohibited fishing in zone 6 on the Grande how would you propose making up that lost revenue? That represents over $30,000 to the zec in rod fees every year and is one of the most scenic places to fish, period. No traffic, no garbage, tranquility, lots of moose, deer and bear, etc.

As to fishing in low water, as long as people properly play salmon and make sure they are adequately revived there is no issue with fishing in low water. When water temps are too warm salmon simply shut down and don't take flies. Those of us who fish for them in mid-August during low water understand that if you haven't hooked up by noon it is time for the beach! Having spent more time fishing in August and September than most (my home river doesn't open until August 1 and I have been fishing there since 1979) I have seen very few dead fish in a river (the presumtion is that they would die from overplaying, water temps, etc. Last season I saw 2 and I don't think my guides saw more than another couple. Considering that we had at least 4 guides on the rivers, particularly during the low, warm periods, I would say that is not bad.

As to fishing techniques I would presume that most anglers know what they are doing and don't have a problem if people want to throw dries, wets, streamers, or choose to strip these flies. If a fish grabs a fly it grabs a fly. Personally I don't have a problem with 3 releases in a day on a river or in a sector. There are plenty of 0 fish days. Again, this is a personal choice.

Bill Greiner

Salmon Chaser 04-23-2005 09:32 AM

Brian, you raised some valid points and on most I'am with you. However, I really dont see the argument of large runs on the matane justifying the slaughter that goes on every season. Should the Miramichi system be opened up to MSW retention because 60,000 salmon, or more, head up river to spawn? Why is it that Quebec must be the only Salmon province that has a MSW kill fishery?? While other provinces and river groups are bucking for a decrease in tags, the numbers of large salmon killed in Quebec are in the thousands, and thousands.
brian, ann, bill, and others,, i have asked this question on other boards without any definitive answers so I''l try it again. has there ever been a proposal to Government, ZEC's, etc, to abolish the killing of large HEN fish??
I think that kelt fishing cme about as a way to make more money(for the camps) and also to keep the guides on the river longer than the 2 months they would normally work in the bright season. As for the harm it causes??? There are definately alot of salmon that die each spring that would otherwise have made it to sea. There are a lot of "cowboys" out in the spring and some awful treatment of the salmon when caught played and released. There is a practice used by some on the Miramichi that has the angler"toss" the salmon from the boat and this, they think, revives the fish quicker. :mad:
Do I think angling for blacks has an impact if they are hooked played and released properly? Well to be honest, i wouldnt do it if I thought it had a negative effect.
Would I stop if they closed the black salmon season? You bet!
Ann, is this pool guarded 24/7 when they are being held up like that?
Salmon Chaser

billg 04-23-2005 10:02 AM


I have never fished for black salmon partly because I don't know if there would be a negative impact. My instinct says yes but I have nothing to base that on froma scientific perspective. I had this same discussion with a Quebec biologist this week with respect to the black salmon fishing that will occur in Gaspe this year. It seems as though this issue was rasied at last year's annual meeting and though many doubt that it will provoke much interest or prove successful they are going to give it a test run.

The Gaspe rivers are much smaller than the Restigouche or Miramichi and have only a fraction of the numbers of salmon. Add that to the fishing sectors for black salmon being well above tidal water (lots of snow still along the rivers and roads) and it does not seem to me that this will be viable. We will know shortly.

I do understand that in NB black salmon fishing extends the season for people to work and brings in $ to the region. Without strong scientific data to prove harm, I personally don't have a problem with the lodges putting people to work.

The pools with barriers (to protect the salmon) like sector 12 york are monitored on a constant basis to guard against poaching.


Salar-1 04-23-2005 10:14 AM

Your right it doesn't justify the slaughter,and it IS a slaughter,but the fact remains that the run is strong due to the upper sanctuary.I don't fish the river any more and never really did like fishing the river. Besides, the Cap Chat ( C&R) is right next door and is just a gorgeous , and well manged,river to fish !
Bill, you're right ,however, both these sectors WERE sactuaries and SHOULD heve remained so considering the the rather low runs on both rivers.
Ann is also right in saying that if fishing on these sectors is allowed, that NOTHING and I repeat NOTHING should be allowed except for FLOATING line AND a dry fly. anything else should be subject to immediate deportation (we all know NO Quebecer would be using anything else under these circumstances)

billg 04-23-2005 10:23 AM


I have no problem with the floating line but still believe that anglers should have the choice about flies and technique. There are anglers who don't like throwing dries under any conditions.


Salmon Chaser 04-23-2005 11:20 AM

i agree with you 100% that river management is responsible for the good numbers of salmon that return to the Matane each year. I have met fishermen from all over Canada and the US and as far away as Ireland that come to the Matane each year for the sole purpose of going home with a large fish. There argument is the same. Historically the runs remain and therefore they feel they are not harming the resource.
As to the discussion of which lines to use and which tactics,, well i run into the same sort of thing on the Margaree in the fall. If 10 of us are fishing tips and large fall patterns and two are fouling fish,, well we are ALL fouling fish and grouped as dredgers and jiggers. There are alot of ill feelings amongst locals, guides etc on the Margaree as to the use of sinktips in that system. Many anglers use them all the time and wont change when conditions dictate and that may be the root of the problem. There are times when conditions do indeed require a certain method and the sectors in question SCREAM of bombers, wulff's etc.
Bill I realize the Matapedia is many times larger than the rivers you guide on but the spring fishing that Pete Dube (amongst others)offers is wildly popular.
Personally I feel that swinging flies to kelts in the cold flows of spring offer no real threat to salar. The real thraet is kelts coinciding with bait/rapalas and the unknowing, uncaring hordes of spring trout fishermen and woman and kids. That is where the real horror lies. I would love to see to see the opening of Trout season on PEI moved to May15 as this would ensure safe passage to the kelts as they head out to sea to grow :lildevl:
Bill my friends also spoke highly of you too.

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