Refunds are available for Crown reserve anglers affected by the decision of the federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans to close a portion of the Northwest Miramichi River and its tributaries to the retention of Atlantic salmon.
Natural Resources Minister Bruce Northrup announced the refunds today. They are available for anglers drawn this year for Crown reserve stretches on the Northwest Miramichi and its tributaries.
The Department of Fisheries and Oceans issued a variation order allowing only hook and release angling on the Northwest Miramichi and its tributaries for at least a portion of the 2011, 2012 and 2013 angling seasons. The department said the decision was made for conservation purposes based on science assessments and is effective as of noon on Wednesday, July 6.
Variation order 2011-056 is for mandatory live release for all of the angling season on the Little Southwest Miramichi and its tributaries upstream from Catamaran Brook, on the Northwest Miramichi upstream from Little River, and on both the north and south branches of the Sevogle upstream from and including Square Forks. In 2012 and beyond, these catch and release restrictions will be in effect for the entire season.
Mandatory live release will be required from noon on July 6 until July 31 on the Northwest Miramichi River from and including Little River downstream to Wayerton Bridge (Route 430). In 2012 and beyond, this catch and release restriction will be in effect from June 1 to July 31
The Department of Fisheries and Oceans said the measures will be in place for three years unless there is a significant change in the percentage of conservation achieved. In 2013, the measures would be subject to a review to determine if they continue to be adequate.
Northrup said the decision affects 10 regular Crown reserve stretches and one daily Crown reserve stretch.
"Given that successful parties have already paid for their respective Crown reserve licences, with the understanding that grilse can be retained, we have decided to offer refunds for the Northwest Miramichi and its tributaries should these parties not wish to participate in hook and release angling," said Northrup. "Crown reserve parties wanting a refund should contact the Department of Natural Resources, Fish and Wildlife Branch, at 506-453-3826 for further information."
Crown reserve stretch dates that are refunded will be placed on the mini-draw list available online.
? Department of Natural Resources: www.gnb.ca/naturalresources
? Department of Fisheries and Oceans, Gulf Region : http://www.glf.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/Gulf