Western Star

NL's Northwest River Opening Depends on Barrier Count

Adam Randell

Jun 10, 2019
If enough salmon move through the counting fence there’ll be a retention fishery for Northwest River again this year.

Parks Canada says the river will open July 8, for a quota of 75 salmon, but only if 250 fish pass through the counting fence during the first in-season review.

If this threshold is not met, Parks Canada says weekly assessments will continue.

Shoal Harbour angler John King doesn't disagree with this. He says he feels its necessary for maintaining a healthy stock. King said it’s a great river to angle on and wonderful place to teach young anglers to fish.

“Making sure the 250 go through before anything starts is good conservation and I think it’s had a positive impact on the river in terms of its salmon population,” King told The Central Voice.

Fishway counts for Northwest River numbered 740 in 2018.

But the salmon weren’t always as plentiful.

According to Parks Canada, in 2001, only 153 salmon were observed passing through the counting fence.

To deal with the declining salmon numbers and to increase the overall health of the Northwest River, a coalition of stakeholders, including Parks Canada, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans and local citizens, formed the Northwest River Conservation Group.

“The combined efforts of this group have helped increase salmon numbers on the river and consequently allowed for a limited recreational salmon fishery to be held annually since 2003,” read a statement from Parks Canada. “The ongoing co-operation of recreational fishers is an essential factor in the success of the fishery.”

Parks Canada requires anglers to have a National Park Salmon Licence and Newfoundland and Labrador Inland Salmon Licence in order to participate in the Northwest River recreational salmon fishery.

The National Park Salmon Licence is free of charge and will be available at the seasonal Northwest River Kiosk in the park. A full list of regulations will be provided to each angler.


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