July 10, 2017 – If you check the River Notes section of the Atlantic Salmon Federation’s website (www.asf.ca), the 2017 river reports are not very encouraging. Throughout New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador, the number of returning spawners appears to be down sharply from this time last year.  Unfortunately, this is the continuation of a downward trend over the past decade or two. The reasons are many:

– acid rain has made many Nova Scotia rivers too acidic to support Atlantic salmon populations

– the exploding seal population in the North Atlantic combined with their voracious appetite for Atlantic salmon

– the commercial Atlantic salmon fishery in Greenland

– Canada’s aboriginal salmon fishery

– the detrimental effects of Atlantic salmon aquaculture sites (ocean-based feedlots) on wild Atlantic salmon populations

– and the list goes on.

All this to say it is more important than ever to release all Atlantic salmon that are caught in our recreational fishery (with flyrod and fly). For many years, guests at Salmon Hole Lodge have voluntarily been practising catch and release.  Many hundreds, if not thousands, of Atlantic salmon have been safely released – to continue on their spawning journey.  To these fine sportsmen and women, and to ALL salmon anglers who practise catch and release, I offer my heartfelt appreciation.  Let’s keep up the good work, so our grandchildren can experience the thrill of playing a feisty Atlantic salmon at the end of their flyline!  – Scott Smith  –