Last year for the two weeks that we fished for Atlantic salmon in a river in Labrador the lower two pools had a feeding loon as a resident "guest". It was there when we arrived and was still there when we left. I wonder how much of the resource that bird destroyed and whether or not such an occurance should be permitted. I know a number of anglers (myself included) tried without success to drive the bird away. When I expressed my concers to a river warden, he suggested that there was nothing that he could do and to "put it in writing" to the appropriate government department. This year the grilse run was noticably smaller (only a fraction of other years). No doubt low water levels and high water temps could be the factor and they might increase later but if a feeding loon spent a whole summer feeding in the river it must surely have had an effect?
This season we also visited another Labrador river farther north...access made possible by a new road(dirt) which goes as far as Cartwright. This one also had a resident poacher...a seal! The do-gooders who have played havoc with the annual seat hunt here in Newfoundland have already caused a catastrophic decrease in the cod population and now the seals, whose numbers have risen dramatically, are obviously turning to the rivers as a source of food.
Both these creatures...the loon and the seal...are well known for the huge amounts of fish they consume. When they threaten a precious resource that is already decreasing in numbers, what should be done?