Time to enter the Quebec draws!!! - Fly Fishing Forum
Classic Atlantic Salmon No pursuit rivals salmon rivers, flies & legacy

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Old 10-15-2008, 01:46 PM
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Gaspe Salmon Gaspe Salmon is offline
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Time to enter the Quebec draws!!!

Hello Folks,

As someone who works in the industry as a guide and outdoor consultant, I get a lot of people asking me about the ZEC system and the draws they offer for fishing reserved rod zones. First thing to remember is that the first round of draws happens on NOVEMBER 1, so it is now time to start thinking about which rivers you would like to apply to for fishing next year. Summer draws will be discussed later in this text.

For those of you who do not know, you can enter as many rivers as you want but can only buy 10 chances in each individual lottery for a specific river, unless they offer different draws for different river systems within the same watershed. An example of this would be the Cascapedia River, which offers you two options, the canoe sector and the wading sector, just about all the other rivers have one draw.

The cost of each lottery entry is 6$ and you can buy up to 10 cards, or, chances for each river. You can enter these draws either by mail or by visiting the following Website www.saumonquebec.com . In some cases you can even call the river and they will put you into their draws but the best way is through the internet.

Once the draws are held you will be contacted by each river to tell you what your placing in the Nov 1 draw was. They will not only provide you with your placement but they will also tell you when they will be calling you to make your choices of sectors. The lower your placement, the better your chances are at getting the days and sectors you seek!

WHAT IF I DO NOT WIN IN THE NOV 1 DRAW, should I just stay home? Hell no! You must remember that Quebec Zecs offer a lot of unlimited or non reserved water for you to fish. This is water that you can obtain without going through the draws. There is a lot of good unlimited water here in Quebec so if you do not get a good draw number you can fish unlimited water.

Another option if you do not win in the November 1 draw is to enter the 48 or 72 hour summer draws. These draws happen each day of the season and allow you the chance at getting one or two rods 48 or 72 hours after the draw has been done. Summer draws typically offer 50% of the total number of rods available for the season and the November 1 draw makes up the other 50% of the available rods, save for a few rivers that have special spring draws for September fishing like the Petite Cascapedia.

Depending on the river, you will be able to choose 2, 3 or even 4 days of fishing. These days can be consecutive or non consecutive and can be for one or two anglers.

What happens if I am not home to take the call from the Zecs? Will they pass over my name and move on? Yup, that is about the size of it! So make sure you are home, or, make sure that you have an alternate number to give out. Most guides like myself will be happy to be that second number. Your guides know the best sectors to choose and best dates within those sectors. You may want to make a phone call to your guide before entering the draw to get some advice, or, seek out someone who can give you advice even if you plan on fishing without a guide.

If any of you have any questions you can always PM me and I will be happy to fill you all in.

Thought this might help some of you who are thinking about coming here for the first time and are a bit intimidated by these draws. You should not be, it is fairly easy and a very fair system for all anglers.

Good luck in the draws and have a great winter dreaming about next season! It should shape up to be a good one!

Best to you all,

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Old 10-16-2008, 10:03 AM
Smolt Smolt is offline
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Thanks for the heads-up David. Is there somewhere that one may find the fish counts by week and/or sector for the Grand Cascapedia?


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Old 10-16-2008, 03:05 PM
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Gaspe Salmon Gaspe Salmon is offline
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draws 09

Hello CK,

The short answer is no, the Cascapedia does not post its fish counts by sector nor do they offer an end of season count. Not last year, nor this year. Seems a bit strange, however, that is how it is done there.

I can tell you that I would estimate that the run of fish that remained in the river was around 1,000 +/- fish, however, this is MY estimate and not based on anything else than speaking to a few people who are in the "know". Rumours have it that the nets sucked up another big number of fish, in June, however, I am not going to get into that. That is for the administration of the Cascapedia Society deal with. I am a simple guide now and like it that way. I have no interest in playing politics nor do I want to start pointing fingers. All I am presenting to you is what I have heard locally and nothing more. Take it at that.

Personally, I do find it a bit disappointing that the netting is still going on at the mouth of the river. The fish are worth a lot more alive and swimming upstream than they are dead, that is a fact that no one can dispute.

Another interesting tidbit is that it would seem that over the past couple of years the size of the fish in the Cascapedia have gotten smaller (overall) and we have dropped from the number 2 big fish river in the world to about number 17 or 18.

Having said all of that, the Cascapedia is still a wonderful river to fish and you can still have a crack at some very large salmon! The Society runs the river very well and they are doing everything in their power to improve fishing for everyone. The access to the pools are excellent and the protection on the Society water is also excellent. They also have some great guides and people who work in the main office and they always do their best to give you up to date info. I enjoy working with them when I fish there and I have only good things to say about the Society.

I hope that someday the netting at the mouth of the river will become a thing of the past, however, it is a complex situation that invloves First Nations rights and a longstanding tradition for the residents there. I, nor, anyone else can judge even if it is tempting to do so at times. Like I said, it goes way beyond just salmon, and has a lot to do with rights and politics. Perhaps it is a dossier the ASF should try to become more involved with in the future.

There is not much more that I can say about the subject. Like I said, I do not want to play politics, however, as someone who has given 25+years of his life as a guide, outfitter, outdoor writer and part time biologist, it is obvious that I would like to see a clear path created for the salmon of the Cascapedia, and every other salmon river in the world for that matter.

Tight lines to you CK!

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Old 10-16-2008, 03:56 PM
Smolt Smolt is offline
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Thanks very much, David, for responding.

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