Bill Taylor - President - Atlantic Salmon Federation
as interviewed by Carol Off of the CBC on "As It Happens" Sept. 17, 2014
Carol Off: But 2014 isn't over yet. Maybe we'll see some recovery yet or the numbers might go up.
Bill Taylor: The numbers, yes, they'll go up but just ever so slightly. Traditionally on the Miramichi maybe 10% of the fish come in this late in the season so the optimism is there and hopefully there's a good fall run but right now we are at the lowest ever for this time of the year and I can't imagine there's going to be a miracle...................The message that the ASF is delivering to the Department of Fisheries and Oceans is that we're killing way too many fish: Anglers, Greenland ......First Nations fishermen, we've gotta stop killing so many salmon.............This year we're looking at what could be the worst on record
(click here to see what the ASF reported 2 weeks later) (Read full article)
(click here to see what percentage actually does come in after the 17th of September)
So have we tipped over the edge. Is this the beginning of an uncontrollable decline of wild Atlantic Salmon in the Miramichi?
Mark Hambrook, MSA President - MSA Newsletter - October 2014
We are on the precipice of a disaster with Atlantic Salmon in our rivers and as most of you are aware the Miramichi watershed has this year experienced unprecedented poor returns of this mighty fish.
David Wilson, chairman of the MSA - September 16, 2014
The Atlantic Salmon's decline has become a crisis.
Bill Taylor - ASF President - September 16, 2014
J. W. Bud Bird - November 2011
(after our best season in recent memory)
There is the unmistakable feeling in our bones that if the Salmon is in trouble, then likely so also are the other natural elements in our world; conversely, if we can make successful efforts to preserve the Salmon's existence and hopefully nurture its abundance, then we have the sense of fulfilling a meaningful purpose for the whole earth, and making our lives count for something very important in doing so. That is why, for example, many Salmon conservationists hardly fish for Salmon at all; they take satisfaction in simply donating time, talent and money to help save the wild Salmon because they know it to be a direct contribution to preserving the
natural quality of our wider world.
CBC News (emphasis ours)
"Earlier this year (2015), the Canadian government announced measures to ease "local pressure" on salmon populations, including the elimination of a retention fishery in New Brunswick, moving to catch and release only."
It is particularly rewarding to any angler to know that by releasing their catch (grilse) they are making a valuable contribution the future of the king of sport fish.
The Barbless Butterfly - N. B. Council of A. S. F. - Spring 2002
From the House of Commons Fisheries Committee - May 26, 2015
Mr. Bird, you mentioned the call for an action plan. What would be the first urgent steps that the federal government should take?
J. W. Bird
Well, the action plan that has been generally requested is first to establish limits on the angling harvest. Here in New Brunswick, for example, we are now totally a hook and release fishery. So there is no harvest of wild salmon at all. We hope that other provinces – Newfoundland and Quebec – will take similar action.
From the book Home Pool, by Philip Lee - 1996
Some New Brunswick residents have resented the fact that there are private pools on their rivers. They think that for the cost of a salmon they should be able to fish anywhere they want all season long. Swazey says, "Most of our local people feel that they should be able to fish for nothing, It isn't the way of things. It costs a lot to have private pools for your guests to fish in, both in taxes and leases. You can't go golfing for free. I don't know of anything that you can go and enjoy that isn't going to cost you something. Fishing shouldn't be any different from anything else. It's entertainment. There isn't room enough for everybody who wants to go salmon fishing. And I don't know where you draw the dividing line unless it's the people who can afford to pay their way. There's got to be somewhere to draw the line." (read more)
Andrew Stout - On the subject of closure...
To call for catch and release after it has been practised for over a decade is too little, too late, given the horrific decline in wild Atlantic salmon stocks across the board. It seems to me you can "bring the salmon's plight to the attention of millions of people through the media" and "urge governments at the highest levels to take immediate actions" but, frankly, all of this is simply begging the one last really meaningful step that now must be considered in order to help save the Atlantic salmon. That step is to urge a complete and total moratorium on all recreational angling for a minimum of five years
And who better to literally put their money where their mouths are than the ASF? The organization should take the lead in urging a five - year moratorium on all Atlantic Salmon angling by everybody who really cares about the species. To do otherwise at this late point is woefully inadequate and weak.
President Emeritus of the New England Salmon Association
Letter to the editor of the Atlantic Salmon Journal - Autumn 1998
Salmon Anglers Share the Blame|
Editorial - The Telegraph Journal - October 12, 2000
(read the full article)
............it is difficult to understand why the size of New Brunswick's recreational salmon fishery has not been reduced. The anglers, the province and Ottawa all recognize that salmon stocks are in trouble. Why not limit the number of fish anglers can kill?
A hook-and-release-only fishery is not the solution. Hook-and-release angling still kills some fish, spawners as well as grilse. And, unlike tagged, kept grilse, the number of fish killed by the hook-and-release fishery cannot be tracked. If the overall goal is conservation of dwindling salmon stocks, New Brunswick must reduce the total number of salmon killed - which ultimately means reducing the number of fishermen, not just the number of fish they can keep.
It is time the province and DFO applied the strategy currently used for moose hunting to salmon angling: reduce the overall number of salmon tags available to anglers and hold a lottery for licences, allotting a set number of licences to each healthy watershed. The number of licences available could be increased or decreased as salmon returns allow.
Bill Taylor's response begins (full text)
I am writing to comment on your editorials of October 11 and 12, "On native rights - and wrongs" and "Salmon anglers share the blame."
I appreciate and welcome your recognition that conservation of wild Atlantic salmon is of tremendous importance to all New Brunswickers and ultimately all Canadians.
Bud Bird's response (full text)
It is a well known fact that the Miramichi no longer has a Salmon run that is sufficient to sustain a sport fishery. It is time that this river be closed or that the taking of even Grilse be prohibited.
Jim Kaye, Editor - United Fly Tyers Roundtable Newsletter - December 1999
Bill Taylor - ASF - 1998
We must put an end to the killing," the Federation's president, Bill Taylor, summed up after the meeting. "Governments must eliminate commercial fishing and anglers need to release their catch. We need to do everything possible to maximize the number of salmon reaching their spawning beds."
The Globe and Mail - Thursday, Jan. 15, 1998
.........But the river system renowned as the greatest salmon waters in the world appears dangerously close to losing the fish that made it famous.
"The Miramichi has dodged the other bullets that are hitting other rivers." said Bill Taylor, president of the Atlantic Salmon Federation. "But now the river is being hit like all the others. Its getting everyone's attention now."
Art Lee, a veteran angler from New York ........says......"most of his fellow anglers aren't likely to support a dying river" "A significant percentage are going to abandon it altogether," he said.
Bill Taylor - The Atlantic Salmon Journal - Spring 1998
In recent weeks ASF has brought the salmon's plight to the attention of millions of people through the media. Headlines from the New York Times and Canada's Globe and Mail and a host of other newspapers, radio and television reports have warned of the Atlantic salmon's demise. The federation is urging governments at the highest levels in strongest terms to take immediate action; to eliminate the remaining commercial fisheries and to undertake the research needed to redress the suspected problems associated with the declining health of the North Atlantic marine ecosystem.
ASF is also calling upon all anglers, wherever they fish, to voluntarily release both large salmon and grilse until stocks recover. Salmon populations are well below the levels needed to sustain healthy runs, it is critical that every salmon that survives its ocean migration reaches the spawning grounds. With ocean mortality at an all-time high, we must optimize production in our rivers. Anglers can make a tangible contribution towards conserving and rebuilding the salmon populations on their river by practising catch and release. While the contribution made by an individual angler may appear a mere gesture, the combined contributions of all salmon anglers releasing all the salmon and grilse they catch is huge. Catch and release fishing isn't about allocation, or even personal sacrifice, it's about saving one of Nature's most wondrous species.
If we are to demand, with credibility, the necessary remedies, then we must be seen to be doing our part.
J. W. Bud Bird - The President of the MSA - Boston, MA - Feb 7, 1998
Theoretical and idealistic debates about the values of hatchery stocks versus wild stocks must cease, and we should turn our efforts to saturating the Miramichi with approved hatchery production wherever we can do so. Surely the principle of maximizing juvenile production must become the driving force.
Art Lee - The Why of Losing
Gotta tell ya. Once upon a time, I hooked, landed and released 19 salmon during a single Icelandic fishing period, losing only one that would have rounded it out nicely had it stuck. -
Atlantic Salmon Journal - Autumn 2013 Vol 62 #3
This one is just for fun...
One must take shorter showers, says Charles: Prince urges British families to 'snub the tub' (link)
Prince Charles has told British families to take shorter showers to help protect the environment.
The instruction came at the end of a list of 20 lifestyle changes recommended by the Prince of Wales for his new green campaign, Start.
In separate advice endorsed by the Prince, he was more detailed – urging people to give up baths in favour of 'short, refreshing' five minute showers.
His campaign website reads: 'Snub the tub. If everybody in a four-person family replaced one bath a week with a five-minute shower, you could save between £5 and £15 per year off your energy bill.'