The Matane is far from changing it's kill policies. It's simply a money thing. The Matane Zec has already calculated their losses if the river became catch and release. I think they claimed that they would loose over 1000 daily permits which translates to approx $25,000 - $35,000 in revenue. And the Zec also claims that their present kill limits have not damaged the runs. With this year's run having a 30% increase over the average year, they will be even more stubborn about changing their laws.
One solution to this is that the Zec should raise the costs of permits to match the Bonaventure and the other rivers on the south shore of the Gaspesie to compensate for the 1000 or so permits they would loose being no-kill. They are against this too because they feel that the Matane always was a place where the working class person can afford some decent salmon fishing.
And if you speak to most of the fisherman on the Matane, either residents or nonresidents, most all of them will tell you that they like to be able to take their salmon and it has not hurt the stocks at all. Others will tell you that when you release a salmon after the average fight it dies anyway. Debating this with them is useless.
My personal preference would be to make the river a no - kill, grilse only, like all the other rivers on the Gaspe so all the killers don't wind up on the Matane. I would also raise the price of the permit to match that of the Bonnie or the York. Or I would make several sectors. One sector up river for more money, and one sector in the lower stretches below the Amqui bridge for less money. Presently any resident can fish anywhere and kill fish on the Matane for $25.00 per day. That is rediculous, not to mention the crowds that it draws.
The Matane is a blue ribbon river. There are pools on the Matane that would cost $1000 a day in Iceland and Norway. Instead these pools are beat up with 10 rods fishing them and 10 waiting on the benches with 2 - 6 salmon caught their daily.
Some may call me a snob, but I dont care. I feel that this fishery and the Matane river is worth much more than a freezer filled with 7 freezer burned breeders. I've seen guys release grilse on the Matane because they dont want to waste a tag on 5 pounds of salmon. Those are the guys I want off my river first as they don't deserve the right to fish for Atlantic Salmon period.