Miramichi, New Brunswick – Recreational fishing is an integral part of the local economy and the Government of Canada is pleased to extend the striped bass season this year. On behalf of the Honourable Dominic LeBlanc, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard,
Pat Finnigan, Member of Parliament for Miramichi — Grand Lake, was in Miramichi today to announce management measures for the Striped bass recreational fishery in 2017 throughout the Southern Gulf of St. Lawrence. This area includes the Maritime Provinces adjacent to the Gulf of St. Lawrence.
In recent years, the Striped bass population in the southern Gulf of St. Lawrence has shown signs of improvement that allow for an increase in fishing days and opportunities to retain fish. As such, compared to 2016, the season will start earlier with the retention period starting April 15 and ending October 31, 2017. This year, anglers will be able to retain fish for 200 days, an increase of 95 days compared to the 2016 season.
In addition, the bag limit will be one fish per day from April 15 to June 14 and from September 1 to October 31, and two fish per day from June 15 to August 31.
Distinct seasons in inland and tidal waters in the Southern Gulf of St. Lawrence will be established to prevent the accidental by-catch of other species such as Atlantic salmon.
Fishing will not be permitted in a portion of the Northwest Miramichi River for three weeks during the spawning period, which takes place approximately from mid-May to mid-June. This is the only confirmed spawning ground for this population of Striped bass. DFO fishery officers will monitor spawning activity to determine when the closure will take place.
This season’s management measures take into consideration input from consultations held in the fall 2016 and winter 2017. During that period, DFO met with First Nations, Aboriginal organizations, fishing organizations, Provincial departments, and held online consultations for the general public.
Management measures for the 2017 recreational Striped bass fishery are as follows:
- The recreational Striped bass fishery will take place from April 15 to October 31, 2017.
- Fishing period in tidal waters adjacent to N.B., N.S. and P.E.I. in the Southern Gulf of St. Lawrence: April 15 to October 31.
- Fishing period in inland waters of N.B.* and N.S. draining into the Gulf of St. Lawrence and inland waters of P.E.I.: May 1 to September 15 (*inland waters of the Miramichi river system: April 15 to October 15).
- As in the past two years, the maximum fish length is 65 centimeters in order to protect the larger spawners. A minimum retention length of 50 centimeters aims to minimize the catch of fish that are not yet mature.
- It is mandatory to use single non-offset barbless hooks (when using bait) throughout the Southern Gulf of St. Lawrence.
- This type of hook decreases the chances of mortality when a fish is returned to the water.
- Enforcement activities will be carried out throughout the season. The public is encouraged to help protect this and other species by reporting any illegal activity by calling toll-free1-800-222-8477, or by contacting the nearest Fisheries and Oceans Canada office.
“This season, anglers will be able to fish more days as well as benefit from increased opportunities to retain Striped bass in the Southern Gulf of St. Lawrence. These increased fishing opportunities are the direct result of management measures introduced since the1990s to significantly help the long-term recovery of the species and the sustainability of the fishery.”
The Honourable Dominic LeBlanc, P.C., Q.C., M.P., Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard
“In recent years, the Striped bass population in the southern Gulf of St. Lawrence has shown signs of improvement which supports an increase in fishing days and opportunities to retain fish. This season, there will be more days of fishing and increased retention opportunities for anglers compared to 2016.”
Pat Finnigan, Member of Parliament for Miramichi — Grand Lake
Fisheries and Oceans Canada – Gulf Region
Office of the Minister
Fisheries and Oceans Canada