I received this disturbing email last night from Larry Shortt as did many other members of various NS based salmon & conservation groups. He explains what has happened to the NS Salmon fishing season as a result of a First Nations power grab...
-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Delay in Nova Scotia Salmon Angling Season opening
Date: Fri, 25 May 2012 22:03:07 -0300
From: Larry Shortt <firstname.lastname@example.org>
To: NSSA Larry Shortt <email@example.com>
To: NSSA Board; NSSA Members; NSSA Affiliates; Flies & Lies List
We have been informed by the Department of Fisheries & Oceans (DFO) that there will be a delay in the opening of the Nova Scotia Recreational Salmon Angling Season which was scheduled to open on June 1.
A variation order is now being drawn up to indicate this. DFO has been in consultations with the First Nations Kwilmu'kw Maw-klusuaqn (KMK), also known as Mi'kmaq Rights Initiative, and another meeting is in the planning stage.
This will impact salmon angling on the Margaree, North and North Aspey Rivers which normally open on June 1st.
DFO is unable to provide a date when salmon angling will be permitted for recreational anglers.
This obvious power grab has many passionate and dedicated conservationist, salmon anglers up in arms over this situation and I have to wonder how long before the First Nations attempt the same ransom scheme here in New Brunswick... this situation is truly pathetic and does nothing for Atlantic Salmon - in fact, with fewer salmon anglers on the rivers this will do more harm than good as poachers can now go about their business unchecked....
Here is an excellent letter written and sent to the Halifax Herald today by Mr. Mike Bardsley, a former NSSA director:
"I AM FISHING ILLEGALLY"
On June 1st, I’m going fishing. Illegally.
I’ll have my salmon rod – the one I carefully chose and lovingly care for.
The two boxes of salmon flies that I’ve meticulously tied and traded – with patterns that are top secret, that have been successful, rumored successful, or just might work.
I’ll visit the same stores, sleep in the same beds, and support the same restaurants that have dotted the landscape along Nova Scotia’s greatest rivers and have depended on anglers like me for generations.
And, I will catch fish. We will battle and I will land them with care, releasing them unharmed to complete their primeval journey.
The mighty Atlantic Salmon will be no worse for wear, yet I will be a more complete person for having spent the time and effort to be connected to this incredible creature in some of natures most incredible settings.
The Canadian Government and it’s Department of Fisheries and Oceans have informed anglers that our season is suspended indefinitely. They, who invest heavily in all of the factors that contribute to the decline and potential extinction of one of Atlantic Canada’s most remarkable, historic and important species. This announcement comes on the heels of closing all of Nova Scotia’s mainland rivers in 2010 and allowing the unique salmon strains of over 70 Nova Scotian rivers become extinct.
On June 1st, I will fish Illegally because I know that keeping conservation minded anglers on every river where salmon swim is their only hope for survival. We are their guardians against government, politics, poaching, pollution and harvest.
Responsible anglers are the only group that pours hours, energy, sweat and tears back into the river - instead of pollution, dams, disease, aquaculture, clear-cutting and development - the killing of watersheds in the name of mis-guided economic progress.
Yes, I am fishing illegally because I am terrified that if I don’t, Atlantic Salmon may never swim in any of our rivers ever again.
Former Nova Scotia Salmon Association Director
Salmon Anglers need to be on the rivers, plain and simple...