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The following are all carried over from a previous topic Quarryville (Catch and release?).

Ace, can you please read this and we can discuss some more? I am glad you are open for discussion. Having an idea of the numbers and take from the fishery is important.

Miramichi Salmon Assessment

Last known averages for recreational catches from 1991-1995 (last years for this info) was over 24,000 fish annually on the Miramichi system. Now probably not the same now given the run size and increase in catch and release angling more recently, but I would bet it is atleast half 50% of that or more (at least 12,000 fish). That is recreational, not first nations harvest. When you read over the document, pay attention to the 2008 numbers. Think about the northwest in 2008, 1,006 fish reported harvested on the crown reserves in ~2500 rod days, or also can be stated as ~12% of the returning fish. What do you think the total take would be on other water (crown open + private) on this system? The total return of small salmon (grilse) was estimated to be ~7,800 fish (range ~5,000-11,000) on the northwest. Recreational angling alone on that system could have possibly harvested half of the returning fish. Now in 2009, 312 fish were harvested on the crown reserves, but again that is 10% of the return and you could prabably double or triple that based on the crown open + private water harvest. The total number of returning grilse in 2009 was 2,975. I just want you to see how every fish counts. Every fish!
 

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Great to see lively debate on this forum which I am new to, hopefully it stays civilized. I have only caught 5 salmon in my life (although I have only fished a few days) and to be honest I am just happy to be there and see the fish. Just knowing I am casting over fish is a privilege which I honestly feel our kids and grandkids will not have a chance to enjoy unless we do everything we can to help the returns. There are so many pressures on this species it is a wonder there are any now (over forestation, acid rain, poaching, netting, contamination from aquaculture, climate change the list is endless).
Everytime you let a female grilse go you a) give her the chance to spawn and add 10,000+ eggs to the riverbed,
gives someone else a chance to catch and release her and c) allows her the chance to return to the ocean and come back BIGGER! When you live release a male grilse you get b and c and also the chance for him to spawn with a female and fertilize her eggs.
To me, taking that salmon off my line, snapping a photo, and helping it to revive itself and swim away are so much more rewarding than eating it. Sure I love the taste of salmon, but I also love steak, and I can show my friends and family the pics and tell my fishing story as we eat the cow, rather than the fish which made my trip so great. I bet no-one would mind.
Catch and release is catching on. More and more lodges are CNR only and are still full with sports. Maybe you can thank this trend for the increase in numbers this year. Think how good the fishing could be if we all did it.
If only half of the licenses sold tagged 1 fish each, that is still 6000 less grilse which could help with the next few year's returns. 6000 fish is a lot more than many of our rivers have seen in many years.
 

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I only just started seriously fishing for Atlantic Salmon this year. I bought a kill license, but that's mainly because I didn't know that a release license was available. I agree with and practice C&R almost all the time with the exception of the odd brookie on a good day. When I started fishing for salmon this year my plan was to keep my first fish only if it was a fresh male grilse. Well, that's what I caught, only thing is, I caught it on the North Pole Stream at the Palisades CR. Strictly C&R. That being said, I really don't see my self keeping any salmon I catch from here out, and I doubt I'll be buying a kill license in the future.

I don't think there is anything wrong with keeping the odd MALE grilse, but the females should be released. Our fishery isn't as strong as it could or should be and every spawning female is extremely valuable to growing this fishery in the coming years.

I only just turned 28, and I grew up in Cape Breton always hearing my father say that fishing isn't near as good as it used to be. But yet he won't hesitate filing his daily limit of trout should the chance arrive, and I was once the same (i give him hell for this now). I just don't want to have to tell my kids that I'm part of the reason that fishing on NB's salmon rivers isn't what it used to be.
 

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Well I am not going to argue the fact that a fresh atlantic salmon is a great meal on the BBQ BUT I CANNOT justify killing one any longer. Salmon are in serious trouble and every fish we remove from the river system is 1 less that can't spawn. EVERY salmon in the system is way to important to kill one.
Just my opinion and I hope I posted it in the proper location so nobody thinks I am hijacking.

Look at some the rivers that flow into the IBOF and how they don't have salmon when not that long ago they did. Even the trout stocks are not good in some of these systems

Look at the cod stocks and how over fishing has ruined that.

Yes it would be great to live in a perfect world where there are unlimited amounts of resources at our finger tips but we don't. Look at how badly 2-3 severe winters hurt our deer #'s and how long it takes for them to recover (not even mentioning the other causes)

The only fish thriving right now seem to be bass (shitfish) and I am going to start making sure that the raccoons get a good meal everytime I catch one, and I am still practicing catch and release (catch it and release it over my shoulder)
some maybe asking themselves "why" right now.....well bass are a major predator to small trout and salmon fry
 

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The ASF reported for 2008 over 40,000 grilse were killed in Quebec and Atlantic Canada. Many of these are from anglers filling a few tags each in that year so it all adds up. Many grilse would have returned as MSW salmon. And any fish handled with care and released has a very good chance to survive. Don't drag them into the shallows and beach them please if your going to release!
 

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there is nothing wrong with c&r. it allows for fishing when/where normally you should not be able to fish, or it can't sustain a catch and keep fishery. some species do well with c&r, some do not, like speckeld trout. you have to release the small trout, but they have poor odds of survival with any sort of a bad hook up, often bleeding then rolling belly up. for trout i try to counteract this by using a bigger hook and no snelled hooks, but in most cases i keep the trout, then change gear/location and go for something else. smallies release the best of all, rarely having a problem in our water temps, but some require a little tlc to revive them on a hot day, similarly stripers c&r well up here, but can have problems when the water temp rises, especialy over 65-70f, and get bad above 80f. salmon fall in the middle i guess, c&r'ing well in cold temps like for black salmon especialy, and getting very touchy once the temps get above 70f, so you need to make the desicion as soon as you hook a fish if you are going to keep it or not. if not, in these temps, you may be better to break it off early instead of fighting it in - better to waste a fly than a salmon for no reason.
the other day i was working my way up a salmon and trout stream, looking for breakfast, which i found in a couple of small brookies, but i got a little po'ed as i noticed a number of dead and dieing trout floating down to me. clearly i was following some one up the stream who was c&r'ing trout, and they were dieing. the fish were mostly small, but one at least was a keepable/ eatable fish. i spent a few minutes successfully (i hope!)reviving one, tried again but was unable to save another and i already had my limit, so it and several others i couldn't reach were wasted. i tried to catch up with the fisher to tell him what was going on but never found him.
 

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It's so simple for me to catch and release. I don't eat fresh water fish. I simply do not like the taste, especially trout. I do remember some pretty exciting moments reeling in a big trout, a grilse, hooking a large salmon and it falling off my line, etc, and would hate to never experience that again. Right now for instance, I'm in a droubt of lack of fishing. It's been three weeks now and I haven't even tried because of water levels and temps. Christ, I even saw a salmon who found a bucket and used it to continue up river. Just imagine come next April, the government says, there will be no more fishing. How would you feel? That's why catch and release is the best method. If some day it ever becomes a nuisance of over stocked salmon, then yes, it wouldn't hurt to keep a couple a year, but we all know that will never happen!
 

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Iam a great supporter of catch and release. My Native river Dee in Aberdeenshire, Scotland adopted a strict C&R policy a decade ago and has recorded year on year catch increases while other UK systems are still in Dire straits. An Intresting radio tagging study last year was carried out and gives support to good survival rates , in short of the 60 fly caught fish only 4 were known to have died of which may have occured naturally.
See DEE STUDY
 

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fishinnut, what do you base the idea that trout do well c&r? that is not my experience and certainly not from trout farmers. almost all trout ponds have the rule of no c&r because the next day those trout are often dead, belly up floating around the pond. smallies can handle c&r hundreds of times, trout are not the same - highly temp sensitive, water quality sensitive, etc., it just takes a little stress sometimes to finnish them. very cold water helps, barbless helps, large hooks helps. just because there are area's that are c&r only for trout doesn't mean it's a good idea. fishing for something else helps the most.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I agree with the angler knowing .. I make a trip once a year for trout as we all should know when fishing trout the rules are different 5 in possesion with size limits !! So you really should know what is best for the fish when making that decision .. I might not be the expert on this topic but what works best for me is #12 or 14 barbless with an artifical egg sac and i have no problem releasing any fish except for as fishinnut said the deep swallowed ones, in my experince with the proper rod and choosing the right method of fishing the angler can release almost anything and it still survive as long as that is the intention as soon as you make the decision to wet your fly or bait
 

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you guys are saying because you have caught lots of trout, and even the same trout 2 days back to back, and because they allow it, it must be okay. good theory, and i really do wish it worked that way, but i'm unhappy to say it doesn't. trout are the cannaries of the water - highly sensitive. seriously guys, trout are no where near as tough as you think. the bigger trout do better c&r, the smaller do terribley. those dieing and dead trout i was finding last weekend did not show any damage by hook or fly, so i could not tell what they were using, and on that stream it could have been either. i have looked into this, and i'm just as disappointed as you, but c&r has poor results for trout. splake was supposed to be stocked for amonst other reasons, because they c&r well.

out in the western us, they assume all trout stocked will be either eaten by man or fish, or will die out in the summer, some times offering prizes for the last trout caught of the summer. this is basicly a heat and water quality issue, but they don't allow c&r for trout there, research doesn't support it.
 

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So, kind of what I have been reading here is that the bigger the hook, the better chance any fish has to survive during a catch and release situation. So, why do we go to the smallest bug possible to catch a fish if that is what they are taking? I know why, but, if it's going to kill the fish because it swallowed it a little deeper, it don't make any sence on using them if we truly believe in catch and release...(Especially in brooks)

Back in my younger days, we have caught a lot of pickeral and it would be a miracle if any of them survived the catch and release. (Sometimes the hook is pretty much digested by the time you get the fish in)

I'm pretty sure once a fly fisherman gets enough experience/confidence, they wouldn't mind switching to barbless. Pretty much for that exact reason. Salmon will swallow a hook to, which takes longer out of water to get the hook out withought damaging it's vocal chords. No wonder a salmon puts up such a great fight!!!
 

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Argument for barbless:
A friend and I had the good fortune of being able to fish for large brookies in Labrador 5 yrs ago. The camp we stayed at had a catch and release, barbless policy (sports were able to take 1 fish home per person/per week). Between the 2 of us, we landed over 100 trout in the 3-6 lb range (grilse size)and I can honestly say that I don't think we lost any due to a hook coming out. Now trout don't jump like salmon, but they roll around a lot especially as they get close to the net and in shallow water.
I would like to hear other comments about barbless hooks. Do you use them?
I dont really think the small #8-10 hooks do much damage to the salmon's tough mouth parts, but there are times when it can take a long time to get the hook out when the barb is caught. The problem is compounded if you are by yourself and trying to tail the fish, it is wriggling around, you are trying not to loose your rod, your hands are shaking, knees are knocking and there is no-one to help you. I had this problem recently and have told myself that from now on I will always fish with a net, just for the sake of speeding up the release process and putting less stress on the fish (or better yet, fish with a buddy).
 

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Get the salmon fly fishing hook and release only as fast as possible . I see there was bass showing up down as far as the blackville area this year,bass are a popular hook and release fish as well I see.
 
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