Larry's Gulch Adopts Live Release

FREDERICTON (CNB) - Larry's Gulch, the government-operated fishing camp on the Restigouche River, New Brunswick, Canada is adopting a live-release policy, effective immediately. Tourism and Parks Minister Stuart Jamieson made the announcement today, and said that the move would support the preservation of New Brunswick's wild Atlantic salmon stocks.

"Adopting a live release policy at the lodge will protect this fishing resource for future generations," said Jamieson. "The salmon angling industry generates millions of dollars in economic spinoff benefits annually, so doing our part to protect the stocks by going live release will ensure we continue to enjoy those benefits."

Larry's Gulch is an important tourism venue used by both the government and private sector to host existing or prospective clients exploring economic opportunities in the province. In 2009, more than 21 private groups booked the camp, while government departments made 16 visits. The camp generated more than $330,000 in revenues for the Government of New Brunswick during that time.

"The Atlantic Salmon Federation (ASF) welcomes the decision of the Province of New Brunswick to require everyone who fishes at Larry's Gulch to release all their Atlantic salmon," said Bill Taylor, president of ASF. "This is a significant step forward for salmon conservation, which will help ensure that more salmon reach the spawning beds on the Restigouche River. We are also happy to welcome Larry's Gulch to ASF's Live Release Rewards and Recognition Program for salmon fishing camps that show leadership in releasing salmon and grilse."

Last season, about 75 per cent of the salmon caught by guests were released. Guests of Larry's Gulch who want a souvenir of their visit can arrange in advance to order a farmed New Brunswick salmon packed and prepared to take home with them.

State of Wild Atlantic Salmon Populations

* Between 1975 and 2008, wild Atlantic salmon destined to return to North American rivers fell from 1.8 million to 635,000.
* The 2008 salmon number is actually up more than 200,000 from 2001 when salmon and grilse numbered 418,000.
* A contributing factor to improving salmon runs is the fact that more anglers are practicing live release, giving their salmon and grilse the opportunity to move up river and spawn.

ASF’s Live Release Rewards and Recognition Program

* Overall, 63% of salmon and grilse fished in NB are released.
* ASF hopes this percentage will significantly increase in the years ahead.
* Live release camps are helping to make this happen.
* ASF has recognized 55 Atlantic salmon fishing camps throughout eastern Canada for their commitment to live release.
* NB has the highest participation rate of the 5 eastern provinces with 18 camps now part of ASF’s Live Release Rewards and Recognition Program
* With the addition of Larry’s Gulch, that number increases to 19.

Rewards for Recognized Camps

* The program acknowledges and rewards outfitters and private camp owners who promote and practice live release at their facilities
* Rewards include: ASF Live Release flags, acknowledgement plaques, free ASF memberships for guides
* Incentive draws for free advertising in the Atlantic Salmon Journal
* Recognition on ASF’s web site, at outdoor shows and other events

Recreational Salmon Fishery in New Brunswick, Canada

* It is estimated to be worth $35 million.

News by: The Atlantic Salmon Federation (ASF).