We at the Veazie Salmon Club are continuing to collaborate constructively with local, State, and Federal groups and agencies. Maine had our recreational Atlantic Salmon Fisheries immediately shut down in the flip of a pen cap over 17 years ago. Since then hundreds of millions of dollars have poured into Maine Atlantic Salmon research programs and related agencies, stocking efforts, passages improvements, and so much more.
The VZSC goal is simple. Maine’s Atlantic Salmon Endangered Species listing needs to be overturned to a Threatened Species listing. Recreational Atlantic Salmon fishing has a rich history in Maine. Salmon history needs to be celebrated and Maine’s future needs to include a strategy to revitalize recreational angling for Atlantic Salmon. While under the Endangered Species listing there will be no provision for recreational fishing.
Under the Threatened Species Listing the potential opportunity for trialing a well-managed catch & release program could be available. A limited catch & release program emulating those already successful in neighboring waters would provide invaluable biological data while enhancing and bringing attention to Maine’s river communities. Let’s use this new recreational catch & release fishing data to further validate the success of the millions of dollars invested in Atlantic Salmon plus help gage the health of our waterways.
Over the past 20 years Maine’s neighboring States and provinces developed conservation methods aimed at balancing their salmon population challenges while respecting and supporting the socio-economic benefits of hosting recreational salmon fishing. Recreational Atlantic Salmon fishing in neighboring states and provinces is well controlled in order to protect the fisheries. Year over year their businesses associated with recreational salmon fishing have enjoyed millions of dollars of revenues.
Immediately ratcheting the Atlantic Salmon down the Endangered Species listing restricting fishing 100% from the take & kill level did not make sense. Reducing recreational fishing limitations from allowing fishermen to take and kill salmon down to limiting fishermen to only catch & release would have been the reasonable first step. The decision to move directly from kill and take salmon to 100% closure of all fisheries needs reconsideration.
We would love to hear your support for this effort! There is more dialogue and open meetings planned to discuss. We hope to hear your opinion and all interested are welcome at The Veazie Salmon Club.
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