September 25, 2017
To all CBSM members,
- Steering Committee members meet with DFO Minister Dominic LeBlanc
- DFO declines request to remove Striped Bass slot limits on inland waters
- DFO Information session on "river-by-river" management still unconfirmed
1) Meeting with Minister LeBlanc
On Friday Sept. 22nd, a long-sought meeting with Minister LeBlanc took place. Myself and Steering Committee member Jerry Doak met with the Minister in Shediac along with MP Pat Finnigan. Although brief, the meeting allowed us to discuss with the Minister the Coalition's three focus areas and to get his perspective on the issues. We left the Minister with three "take home" messages. 1st - his participation and direction is required on the issue of large salmon harvests, 2nd - it is essential that DFO address the impact of Striped Bass on Atlantic Salmon, and 3rd - it is imperative that DFO move forward on "river-by-river management" for the 2018 season.
2) Striped Bass slot limit
You will recall that, given the number of Striped Bass showing up in salmon rivers this season, in early July the CBSM requested that DFO drop the retention slot limit for Striped Bass caught above the head-of-tide on New Brunswick salmon rivers. (Coalition news # 5) After a couple of inquiries the answer came back on Aug. 14th that DFO would maintain the slot limit. When asked for their rationale for restricting the removal of Striped Bass occupying Atlantic Salmon instream habitat, they replied simply that more evidence of the problem was required. Reports of Striped Bass showing up in numbers well upstream, have come in from all over this summer and it begs the question - why did DFO impose this slot limit for inland waters in the first place? Ease of administration or do they feel a need to protect juvenile Striped Bass even where they shouldn't be.
3) Information session on "river-by-river management"
This topic was also an item mentioned in Coalition news # 5 where we reported the outcome of our first meeting with DFO Moncton HQ staff. At that meeting we requested that DFO put on an update session on "river-by-river management"
such that people would know where things stood and what could be expected for 2018. RDG Serge Doucet felt it was a good idea and directed his staff to set it up.
Six weeks later when we inquired as to the status of this proposed information session, we were advised by a DFO spokesperson that there would be no such session. We have since asked RDG Doucet to reconsider and also contacted the NBSC and the NBWF to ascertain their interest in attending. Both said they would welcome such an information meeting so we will see where this goes. The CBSM remains committed to being a conduit for information to and from DFO on behalf of its members.
Lastly, your CBSM Steering Committee will meet this coming Thursday Sept. 28th at 7:00 pm at the Blackville Village Office conference room. As with any Steering Committee meeting, all CBSM members are welcome to attend. If you are interested in participating please lets us know by contacting our secretary - contact details available on our website at salmonnb.com
Still pushing, and also hoping for rain before the season ends !
Steering Committee Chair - CBSM