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I was just informed by Natural Resources Minister Bruce Northrup that DFO is strongly considering a May 1st opening of the lower Hammond River as of 2013, in order to give the Atlantic salmon a chance to leave the river and not be harrassed by "trout fisherman" on their way out. This is great news, as I'm sure I don't need to tell many if not most of you that an Atlantic salmon's survival is greatly reduced when improperly handled and improperly released. On April 15th I saw people lugging salmon into their boats, working away at them as they tried to retreive deeply ingorged hooks, then just chucking the fish back in the water without reviving them over a minute later, in one case slightly over two minutes. I saw others kneeling on them as they lugged them onto the shore, in an attempt to immobilize them as they retreived their hook. I was told that DFO is aware of these "trout fishermen" on the lower stretch of the Hammond River, and plan to have this adressed prior to the 2013 fishing season.

For those of us who genuinely target trout, we will still be able to pursue them in the upper stretch of the Hammond River on April 15th from what I was told. What will be the dividing line between where you will not be able to fish until May 1st is yet to be determined, but this should help with the return of Atlantic salmon on the Hammond enormously.
 

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interesting. yet they do the same thing on the miramichi and nothing is done there. black salmon are very tuff, and don`t seem to be that effected by a little handling. maybe something in the guide showing how to handle them would be a good idea. i have seen hundreds of black salmon caught on the miramichi, and the only propper releases i`ve seen were from my boat or the people i was fishing with, with one possible exception. they just chuck them back in the water.

some are freaking that a salmon was handled at all. black salmon are tuff and rugged, they also have a poor chance of returning, as they have already spawned at least once, and they "dissappear" in the bay of fundy. the fall run salmon are not tuff, and are on their way up to spawn, when they are the most important and most vunerable.

based on the fishing reported here this year, there were salmon all the way up the river, not just the bottom. there were no trout reported way up river. so closing one and leaving the other open sounds ...

we should try education for all black salmon fishing, handling and releasing first, then if needed switch the hammond to fly or no bait for the first couple weeks to stop the deep hooking. a kneejerk reaction to a couple of missuses seems a little odd, since the existing rules have produced these large numbers of salmon on the hammond and clearly isn`t harming the numbers, far from it. i did not hear of a single salmon seen killed there this spring. did dfo or dnr charge anybody? i did hear one fisher loudly claim trout fishers were killing them - that same person was fishing bait from the bottom, and sitting a hundred yards from an eagles nest, just above a group of otters, and they don`t pratice c&r very often. i did hear of one salmon that had been hit by a boat prop - although injured it was still feeding and looked like it would make it. so maybe closing the river above the train bridge to outboards for the first 2 weeks would save a few salmon, and make more sense.

imo this is not good news, this is politics to make them look concerned, not good management. again.

* i have edited the above. i still stand by what i said but it was far from politicly correct. my bad.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
FYI- salmon was found dead on the Hammond, and are being autopsied by DFO officials.
 

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I had heard this a while ago Stroover and I agree with you, it's good news. I also heard the were looking at the French Village covered bridge as the new boundary but nothing definate on that. Wherever they make the boundary, it's got to help.
 

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sorry for raining on your parade stroover. it`s a good thing that they are watching the river, i just disagree with the change. i see it as they finnaly got it as close to right now there, we just need more fishers to learn and use propper handling. also i should correct myself and say that a torpedo release is a valid way to release a quickly landed and green salmon in cold water, so "just chucking them in" isn`t nessacarily always bad.

that they are autopsing a salmon to find how it died is good, as is that they only found one dead salmon. since there is no report of them charging anyone, this at worst would be a case of bad handling, not intentional abuse. i notice no one is saying there was poaching going one, which is good news.

a lot of people were catching the first salmon of their lives, it`s not surprising they mishandled them in some cases. mishandling fish seems to be the complaint more and more often, in many fisheries in the maritimes. perhaps it would be best get a little more proactive. have volunteers out opening day to show and help with fish handling. when there are so many others watching, i think people would rather handle them correctly once shown how. the numbers of other people watching would get them doing it propperly right from the start. add in a few other days, like the first weekend and, lakes, and nb fish day, and we could go a long way to stop mishandled fish.

edit: i just noticed you said salmon are, not is. was there a number of them?
 

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great news! small step but a step in the right direction never the less. I would like to see the whole river catch and release, barbless only for 5 - 10 years. The water doesnt hold the fish it should and if anyone thinks it does then they have never fished a well managed river before. Its a shame really.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Ipop, anybody from ASF will tell you torpedoing a salmon isn't the way to go at all, especially when someone has had the salmon out of the water for nearly two minutes. Sorry man, but I have to disagree with you on that one.

Hardy, I agree with you, though.
 

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torpedoing certainly isn`t the thing to do in warm or shallow water, and i don`t personaly do it at any time, but it is commonly done on the west coast and the great lakes...and on the miramichi in the spring. they use it because it gives a big rush of oxygen, which the fish need, but it does not help with the lactos build up from a long fight or a worn out fish (which is why i don`t use it) only time, giving them a break will help with lactos. i was correcting, hoping they were not just chucking them in the water, hoping they were using it for quickly caught and still green salmon that require no resussitation, these by definition would not be out of the water for any time.

if the numbers were dropping i could see this change being required, and have no problem with it. but they are not. if they closed it the first two weeks because the fish numbers were up, what possible conditions would these first 2 weeks be reopened under? if it`s because fish were mishandled, only education will fix the problem. some simple instruction would fix this, something ASF could help with. how about a how to video on handling and releasing various fish, not just black salmon?
they open the black salmon season 2 weeks before the trout season opens on the miramichi. clearly dfo don`t think it is hurting the salmon or their numbers there, and that is with them being targeted and with retention being allowed.

i`m not saying the current policy on the hammond is perfect, but it is the best so far and having good results, or we wouldn`t be having this discussion. if it ain`t broke, don`t fix it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
So the big difference between the Hammond and the Chi is that on the Chi they flyfish for the blacks whereas on the Hammond the vast majority fish with worms or trebble hooks. Removing a fly on the corner of the mouth is by far quicker and easier then removing a wormed hook deep in the throat, or worse, a deeply engorged trebble, which is what is happening on the Hammond, as I am sure you are aware. THAT is the issue, and delaying the opener by two weeks will remedy the problem. I hope this clarifies it.
 

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I was just informed by Natural Resources Minister Bruce Northrup that DFO is strongly considering a May 1st opening of the lower Hammond River as of 2013, in order to give the Atlantic salmon a chance to leave the river and not be harrassed by "trout fisherman" on their way out.
Stroover - May 1st is not late enough. Lots of salmon stick around in the lower stretches on all the rivers where salmon run well into mid to late may. I've caugh them as late as May 27th. At least a May 15th or May 20th date would be better. Should be that way on all New Brunswick rivers that have salmon. Kenebecasis, Cocagne, Nashwalk, St. Marie's, Bouctouche, etc.....

Chi they flyfish for the blacks whereas on the Hammond the vast majority fish with worms or trebble hooks.
Same thing happens on the Southwest Miramichi below Doyle's brook and also below the Sunny corner bridge on the Northwest Miramichi. Only thing different is a single barbless hook is suppose to be used but many guys are trolling for large trout using Rapalas with trebles. Bait fishermen are catching salmon that swallow the hook. May 1 is the opener. There are kilometers of river to fish and a lot of people on shore also.

It's tidal so I don't think anything can be done about it.

Same thing goes on all over Nova Scotia.

The only way it will get changed is from a group like the Hammond River salmon association convincing the governmnet. But again the tidal waters are questionable.
 

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some simple instruction would fix this
Ipop - you cant fix stupid! Don't matter how many videos or commercials or even brochures, some people don't care and don't want to be told what to do. The crazy methods of handling fish on the Miramichi has blown me away. A tolal lack or respect for the fishery and the value of a single salmon.

they open the black salmon season 2 weeks before the trout season opens on the miramichi. clearly dfo don`t think it is hurting the salmon or their numbers there, and that is with them being targeted and with retention being allowed
It's about money generated. If the rivers only opened on May 15th the people would be in an uproar for lost revenue. I don't think DFO has a clue what is hurting the salmon numbers. They allow black salmon fishing from April 15th and then open the trout season with the use of bait and lures on the rivers starting on May 1st below certain points on the river. But turn around and set regulations for catch and release for the Sevogle, Little Southwest and Northwest. for bright fish because those rivers are not meeting spawning requirements to sustain a decent population of salmon. And they totally forgot about the Renous which has no counting fence. That river has to be on the list with the others.

if it ain`t broke, don`t fix it
Don't have so much confidence in the DFO/DNR. They are in a reactive state of mind instead of a proactive state. They normally put regs and policy in place when it's just about ruined. I wouldn't count on them to manage anythin right. That is why we formed groups like the ASF and the Hammond River salmon Association. These groups give a voice to the DFO/DNR. Otherwise we would still have the crap going on with the commercial fishing for salmon.

DFO won't put a catch and keep fishery in place for stripe bass on the miramichi but they lose thousand of Smolt to the bass. They think there are no spawners. Guys are catching 30 inch females this week on the lower end of the Northwest and Southwest Miramichi. Right at the time when smolt wheels are put in place to count how many are leaving the rivers only to be eaten by bass. The problems are sitting right in front of DFO's face and they choose to drag their arse until it's too late. Kind of like the crazy amount of gill nets that were used on the Northwest for decades which affected the Sevogle and Little Southwest for years and they sat back and watched as the spawning numbers were dropping at an alarming rate only to finally set regs in place now to try and turn it around. A bit late don't you think? Don;t be so sure DFO/DNR has a grip of what's going on for the Hammond.
 

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Hot topic. I was excited by the headline. But dissappointed with the news. I'll side with ipop on this. Some conservation guys go too far. If you want to lobby something than increase min trout size on rivers to 14". Open SJ river system to salmon angling and stock iBOF rivers with rainbows or browns- Nothings worked for 20 years there- The definition of insanity is repeating the same action many times while expecting a differrent result!

Problems with salmon populations on our rivers are pretty much unrelated to angling activity.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
In my opinion, anybody who cares for the well-being of the Atlantic salmon would:
#1) Refrain from targetting them with trebble hooks and globs of worms while posing as trout fishermen,
#2) Embrace the idea of giving them a chance to leave the river unharmed.
#3) Learn the proper way to release a salmon. (ASF has all the info you need on this).

Salmon Fever, I know the salmon still run through well after May 1st, but not by the hundreds as they do April 15'ish as they have the last couple of years. I'm not sure if you were on the river April 15th or not, but it was pittyful to see all those "trout fishermen" doing a number on the salmon, especially from the HRAA lodge up to Crowley's. They knew darn well what they were doing, and it's wrong, They knew where the salmon were holding, and so they all congregated there. I could go on and on pointing the finger and pointing wrongs out, but that's not going to fix anything. I do find it troublesome, however, of the amount of people on here who condone this type of thing. I'm sure everybody posting on this thread would like to see the salmon fishery open up again on the Hammond, but unless we all work together at this and give them a chance to make it back out to sea, it isn't likely going to happen.

Ipop, what you said about the kelts being tough and can take it and what not, I disagree. I sat in on seminars and saw studies by scientists hired by DFO that stated otherwise. They say they are very vulnerable and need to make it back to sea to regain their strength. Maybe they're wrong and you are right, I don't know. I'm not the scientist. But to look at it from a logical point of view, I have to go with what the scientists are saying. Even if what you're saying is right, ipop, there is still a percentage of salmon what will die from this type of activity, and the Hammond needs every available salmon to be able to breed and to return as often as they can if we're ever going to see the fishery come back to healthy levels. All I'm saying is, if folks are going to target the kelts either way, then please consider flyfishing for them, preferably with a single barbless hook, and please learn the proper way to release them in order to increase their chance of survival.
 

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All treble hooks should be banned on all rivers. Makes sense wherever salmon live. Even some lures when you buy them come with a single hook to convert them. They even sell single hooked Panther Martins now at Canadian Tire.

Many fishermen don't care about salmon. I have watched and know lots of guys that fish with bait and lures exclusively and are not fly fishermen. They consider salmon a bad thing. Like a nuiance when getting one incidentally. They just drag them on shore and throw them back without a care in the world.
 
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