ST. JOHN’S, NL – It will cost Newfoundland and Labrador residents a lot less to buy a salmon licence for the 2018 angling season.
Premier Dwight Ball and Fisheries and Land Resources Minister Gerry Byrne announced details of the province’s salmon strategy for this year today, May 25.
All salmon licences will be sold to residents of the province for $5 plus HST, instead of $23 plus HST and a $3 fee for vendors that has been charged in the past, according to a news release.
Vendors will retain the full amount of the $5-fee minus the taxes.
The cost of licences for non-residents will continue to be $80 plus the revised $5-vendor fee.
The fee structure for 2018 was made to help compensate vendors for "errors and omissions" caused as a result of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans’ (DFO) delayed availability of licences, the release stated.
It’s expected DFO’s decision to issue a late management plan, one that allows anglers to keep one fish only pending a mid-season review, will mean less interest in salmon angling.
The change also recognizes the financial effect to licence vendors and equipment suppliers resulting from reduced licence and angling-related equipment sales.
“Now more than ever, we need a strong and sustained presence on our rivers by anglers who are connected to wild salmon like no one else and are fighting for their protection,” Ball said.
The Department of Fisheries and Land Resources, meanwhile, is responding to DFO’s catch-and-release limit of three fish per day set for all rivers in the province in 2018.
The provincial department plans to create regulations under the Wildlife Act to give the minister the authority to establish catch-and-release annual and in-season quotas, suspend or cancel licences, and enable scientific research.
Fisheries and Land Resources will also undertake a study of study of catch-and-release angling and its impact on salmon mortality specific to Newfoundland and Labrador.
“My department is committed to ensuring Newfoundland and Labrador’s important salmon resource is managed using the best science available,” Byrne said.
“The study announced today will help determine the impact of catch-and-release angling on salmon mortality and establish the best approach. We must work to ensure this resource is managed based on true science, and that it upholds anglers’ established values of conservation.”