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Old 05-20-2011, 06:24 PM
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Default Salmon River Revived

I heard this piece on the radio this afternoon, an interview with a member of SPAWN (The Salmon Preservation Association for the Waters of Newfoundland). What follows is the story to the best of my recollection, with some input of my own. I wish I could find a link for the interview, but alas...............

In Corner Brook, Newfoundland, there's a brook about 2-1/2 kilometers long that's simply called "The Corner Brook Stream". It runs to the ocean from the center of town, and passes right along by the city hall. Back at the turn of the century over 110 years ago, it was a well known salmon stream. Early in the century, a pulp & paper mill was built on the mouth, and I guess the rest doesn't need to be explained, except to say the river died.

Recent years, with the efforts of groups like SPAWN providing education and "clean-up parties", and people having more appreciation for the fish, the brook has shown a resurgence of life. This is partly due to the efforts of groups sponsoring school programs where kids would get eggs from hatcheries and eventually release the fry into the stream.

Lately, counts have shown up to 150 grilse and adult salmon returning to this stream, indicating cleanup efforts are paying off and the stream has become healthy enough to support fish. So far, so good, right?

The gentlemen being interviewed went on to say they are lobbying DFO (Fisheries and Oceans Canada) to open the stream to salmon fishing, and as partial response to this, DFO have stated that their research has indicated the brook could support ~ 100 salmon, far less than the 150 currently entering.

My first thought on this was "B. S., if the river is now living, leave it alone." But the interview continued..........

He said they want catch and release only, and even then, with restrictions.

They want the stream to be used as a "training ground" only, for teens and preteens to learn the sport without having to go to the bigger waters like the Humber, Exploits, et al.

In addition to this, they are requesting that "casting platforms" be built so adults who are unable to travel to the larger rivers, either because of age or physical disabilities, would still be able to experience the joys of the sport.

While a part of me would still like to see this brook left as is with no fishing, I have to lean towards supporting their requests.

I'd welcome your thoughts on this, and would especially welcome any experiences anyone has had with similar situations as I've described above.

Jamie
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