While Topher and I were waiting our turns in the rotation we observed a few fish hooked. I found myself truly rooting for the salmon to throw the hook or break off. Unfortunately is was to no avail as they were quickly dispatched.
When we were fishing Matapedia, and he was snoozing in the cabin
, I went and fished one of the more popular pools. Shortly after I worked into the rotatation at the top an angler hooked a nice fish on a bomber in the holding spot just above the tail. That fish did not run down but took him upstream almost 40 yards where it dug in, made a couple of jumps, and surged back down- clean broke him off. I could not have been happier as it was very apparent that fish would have been netted and given the priest.
Watching the catch stats it is very obvious there are not many salmon being caught on the Matapedia- due mostly from a lack of fish and certainly from the water being to warm for successful fishing (or releasing for that fact).
It is not the Quebec government that needs convincing- it is the beliefs and attitudes of the resource users. The government will change the rules if that is what the people want. This was my first trip to the Gaspe where I was surrounded by kill fisherman and the mentality behind it. The tactics used by many of the anglers there remind me of the hatchery release holes on our western rivers with similar attitudes towards fishing in one anothers hip pockets and kill what you catch.
Maybe the kill attitude is a result from the resource being open to the public for such a short time since de-clubbing and the evolution of the sportsman is lagging as well. That is no excuse however, history is repeating itself through the same types of overharvest and natural resource extraction that brought wild anadromous fisheries to their current predicament throughout its natural range.
Quebec's Gaspe is quickly on the road towards the mess in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Maine. The sad thing is that it is probably preventable through limiting both aboriginal and sport harvest, completely stop the aquaculture growth, and practice the safest forest harvest possible.