St. Andrews, NB .The Atlantic Salmon Federation (ASF) announces the winners of this year's Wild Atlantic Salmon Live Release draw. Allan Dobson of St. Andrews, NB won an Orvis rod and reel and Edmund de St. Croix of Gaspe QC won a Thomas & Thomas rod and a Hardy reel. Bell Ensor of Scotch Lake, NB won a framed print by wildlife artist Pierre Lutz. The draw is open to anglers who salmon fish throughout eastern Canada. To qualify they must release salmon and grilse that the law allows them to retain.
"We are encouraging anglers to go the extra mile, beyond what the regulations require, to show personal, voluntary commitment to future runs, and we know it's paying off as we see more salmon and grilse making it to the spawning beds, among them, many repeat spawners," said Sue Scott, VP, Communications, who drew the winning entries. Beyond the big prize winners, seven additional participants received a variety of fishing vests, ASF clothing and books. "Live release is becoming more and more a practice of choice. Beyond Canada, we had participants from far away places such as Belgium, Iceland, Sweden, Mexico, England, Scotland, France, and the USA's states of Washington, Texas and California," continued Sue Scott.
The Province of New Brunswick has sold a live release license for three years now. Anglers who are truly dedicated to releasing all their salmon buy this license. Beyond personal satisfaction, these anglers can enter both the ASF draw and a draw sponsored by the New Brunswick Salmon Council.
Peer-reviewed science from several countries supports live release as a proven and effective conservation tool. A recent study on Norway's Alta River indicates that 97% of the salmon survived catch and release and were still alive during the spawning period one to 3.5 months later.
Live release helps keep the recreational fishery and its economic benefits to rural areas and local communities alive. The industry contributes around $200 million to Quebec and the Atlantic provinces annually.
In Maine, authorities are carrying out public hearings for input on a proposal to open the Penobscot River to a fall live release season for wild Atlantic salmon. They consider live release an appropriate conservation measure. It is also one that will galvanize community spirit at a time when conservation organizations are raising money for a major restoration of the Penobscot. Runs to the Penobscot have improved in the last three years, which can be partially attributed to a conservation agreement with Greenland 's commercial fishermen that suspends commercial salmon fishing off Greenland's coast, where North American salmon migrate. The agreement is supported by the U.S. Government, ASF, the National Fish & Wildlife Fund, and the North Atlantic Salmon Fund of Iceland.
A complete list of the 2005 live release winners is on the ASF web site at http://asf.ca/Communications/2005/12/livereleasewinners.html.
For more information or a brochure on Live Release, please call ASF at 506 529-4581.
The Atlantic Salmon Federation is an international, non-profit organization that promotes the conservation and wise management of wild Atlantic salmon and their environment. ASF has a network of seven regional councils (New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland, Prince Edward Island, Quebec, Maine and western New England) that have a membership of more than 150 river associations and 40,000 volunteers. The regional councils cover the freshwater range of the Atlantic salmon in Canada and the United States.
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