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.