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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello, I am a STFX Student that was employed by the NSSA this past summer as a field researcher. As part of my education at STFX I am conducting a report on the viability of a independent user-pay system on the West River, Sheet Harbor for the NSSA. As part of the study I am trying to assess the interest of anglers in this concept, so I have constructed a survey to do so. It would be greatly appreciated if you took part in the survey (Link Below) to help the NSSA better understand the anglers' opinion on this subject.

http://app.fluidsurveys.com/s/westrivershsurvey/

Further details will be provided on the survey page.

Also, feel free to make comments about the concept in the survey on the comments section, as well as on this thread.

Thank you very much.
 

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Done! Would like to see a daily lisence as well. If I lived closer a yearly lisence would not be an issue.
 

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Hey Gang,

After viewing this topic and the linked survey, I find myself conflicted and concerned. I've tried to get some input from people, who's opinions I value, on the subject. Nobody has been able to calm my concerns, so I'll go ahead and play "Devil's Advocate".

First, I'm all for better "quality" fishing in the Province. I have great respect for the work Associations and NGO's are doing in the Province to improve the resources, in lieu of adequate Government involvement and investment in the future of these resources. That these organizations are the spear-head in the battle to improve the quality of the environment and resources in our Province speaks volumes about their members and the work they are performing. Meanwhile, the government stumbles along unaware of the value of this Sport and the possible economic gains of improving the resource for ALL.

Personally though, having read the proposal, I get a knot in the pit of my stomach that I can't ignore. My brain says, "Great! Better quality fishing". However, my gut feeling on this is in total opposition.

To begin, I believe that restricting access to waterways, creating "PRIVATE" waters in this Province should never be allowed. First and foremost, I see this concept developing into a two tier system of fishing for the Have's and Have-Not's. This being not dissimilar to the Private Waters of "Clubs" in England. ( See: Trout Fishing Clubs in England http://www.fishingne...trout_clubs.htm) Also, the privately owned pools in New Brunswick.

The Angling Act states: Right to go upon land, river, stream or lake

3 (1) Any resident of the Province shall have the right to go on foot along the banks of any river, stream or lake, upon and across any uncultivated lands and Crown lands for the purpose of lawfully fishing with rod and line in such rivers, streams or lakes.

(2) Any resident of the Province shall have the right to go on, upon or across any river, stream or lake in boat or canoe or otherwise, for the purpose of lawfully fishing with rod and line in such rivers, streams or lakes.

Providing the person is following the regulations and is licensed accordingly, ANY resident should have the right to fish ANY waters in the province. The idea of paying extra for "quality" fishing, in a river in this province is disturbing to say the least.

This also opens the Province up to more of this sort of arrangement. Many anglers are barely able to afford licenses, gear and gas now. Ever increasing costs of living make it difficult for some, as it is. This idea creates a system where the "Haves" (Folks with money) are entitled while the less fortunate (Have-Nots) are relegated to a less "quality" experience. The Government will expect you to have a General Fishing License, a Salmon License and then add on this "Special" license. Salmon fishing is a two tier system now. No new expenses should be required. All this created in a Provincially public river. That ALL residents should have the RIGHT to access (despite their economic situation). The NSSA certainly has no right to govern over any river, regardless of the great work they do in a system (receiving membership fees and donations from the PUBLIC to do this work).

Should this idea be enacted, it will be the beginning of the end for public access to provincial waters for recreational fishing.(IMO) This is the beginning of a slippery slope to systems being adopted by "Associations" and then developed as in this case.

I understand the need to finance these projects and that they are expensive. Our Government does little and provides less to these organizations. The need for both Federal and Provincial departments to step up and help finance these projects is imperative. They take and take by means of taxes, fees, permits and licenses and provide little in the way of investment in the future of the resource. I am a little sick of paying, ever increasing license fees, and receiving nothing but bureaucracy in return.

I would gladly pay double for my license if it guaranteed that these organizations would receive funding to improve the "quality" of fishing for ALL anglers. It is time for anglers, in this Province, to step up and become vocal regarding our expectaions of government with regard to the need for a better plan to improve systems and support organizations. The alternative is the privatization of waterways and ever increasing "fees" to be granted access to resources that belong to us ALL.

Something to think about. Perhaps you agree or maybe you disagree. The fact is that we need to be very careful as to what doors we allow to be opened. In my opinion, anyway.

Terran
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I have received concerns regarding the misconception that this survey was conducted in support, association, or knowledge of the DFO, NSDFA, as well as the NSSA.

Much of this is mentioned above, however I would like to personally reiterate it.

The DFO and NSDFA prior to this survey had not been contacted regarding the hypothetical situation and neither bodies are for or against this concept at this point.

Although the NSSA is involved in helping me with the exploration of the concept, they are in no way currently pushing or even in approval of such a hypothetical situation. I am conducting this exploratory research independent of any of these organizations.

Also, none of the specifics of this hypothetical system are set in stone and the situation described in the survey is highly generalized and is only used to try and convey the general concept of what the system could look like to the readers. The length of the information provided in the survey is limited and so many of the other specific details regarding the operation of the system are not included; these will be explored in my report.

I would like to apologize if there were any misconceptions regarding the involvement or awareness of any of these organizations

--William
 

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Did the survey. Some points in it I liked, some had me doing a double take. Somehow deep inside of me I feel that that this has the explosive potential of becoming exclusive fishing rights? Could just be me, but I have seen where money talks, and those with thick wallets dictate what and how as well as who and what fishing will occur at certain areas, I have seen this in other areas of the world in both fishing and hunting. Please do not get me wrong, totally in favour of improving waterways, whether liming or simply doing ledging and breaks, creating cuts and other similar situations. But, there is a big "but" when money is being used or suggested, as is certainly suggested in this survey, I immediately am on guard.

Again do not get me wrong, I am all for improvement, however never will be a supporter for exclusive or Trophy fisheries. Both these types of Fisheries would end up being for the wealthy, with the highest priced individuals who would certainly dictate, particularly with the "how much would you be will to pay approach"

Possibly I have misread this or am understanding it differently then I should, however when money comes into play the outcome is usually the same , regardless of the situation.

This question below which I copied has no option other then to select one form or another of Exclusive fishing on the sytsem. In short there is no option to select "None of the Above"
The survey in my opion is terribly slanted/one sided .

"COPIED FROM SURVEY"
If this system were to be implemented would you prefer that it take the form of giving licence owners exclusive rights of the entire river, sections of the river, certain time periods, or a combination of sections and time periods.
  • Enitre River
  • Sections of the River (ie. certain pools)
  • Time Periods
  • Combination of Time Periods and Certain Sections
 

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Something has to be done to save the remaining NS Salmon Rivers and if Lottery or user-pay water is the way to do it then I say LETS GET HER DONE!!! Too many anglers in NS are worried about whats in it for "ME" and don't give a flying frog about the salmon IMO. Private/Crown water system in NB is the reason why there is still a good population of Wild Atlantic Salmon in that province. People have to pull thier heads out of thier butts and start doing something to save the salmon before its too late and we are almost to that point now!!
 

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Something has to be done to save the remaining NS Salmon Rivers and if Lottery or Private water is the way to do it then I say LETS GET HER DONE!!! Too many anglers in NS are worried about whats in it for "ME" and don't give a flying frog about the salmon IMO. Private/Crown water system in NB is the reason why there is still a good population of Wild Atlantic Salmon in that province. People have to pull thier heads out of thier butts and start doing something to save the salmon before its too late and we are almost to that point now!!
Exclusiveness will do nothing to save anything. It simply will limit access to those that can afford it. Money Talks!!!

If you and any other are truly concerned about the Salmon, as I am, why not terminate all fishing for them in its entirety.
Am I correct in saying you are an Outfitter?
 

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I've been preaching closing down certain rivers in NS for years to help with stock recovery!! I also was in full support of the pool/river closers this year when everyone cried FOUL because they couldn't go fish salmon while trying to pull the wool over DFO/Inland fisheries eys saying they were "trout fishing" !! I am not an outfitter in Nova Scotia. The NB lottery System for Crown Reserve waters is a great example of the way we should manage what little salmon waters we have left here in NS. The ZEC system in PQ would also be a great choice. The first thing that should be done whaterver "plan" is instituted on the West and any other river that they deem fit to expand the plan to is open it only to Resident anglers....let the non residents continue to pound the Margaree!!!
 

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To stay out of a long winded debate I'm am going to say that I like the concept. I have no problem with a user pay system, if the money is re-invested back into the system. As an anybody I am willing to give back to the sport I love.
 

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After viewing this topic and the linked survey, I find myself conflicted and concerned.
Terran,

Good post. I, too, am conflicted and concerned and the words "slippery slope" come to mind.

I'll need to reflect on this further and I'll try to "zero base" my thinking. In other words, if we had a chance to design the sportfishing system from scratch, how would it look?

My initial thoughts are that the license fees would be much higher, with the increased fees directed to enforcement and resource management/enhancement. To ensure affordability, more options would be provided (e.g., short-term licenses where you could designate the specific days, conservation vs. retention licensing, etc.). For example, $100 for a full-season, full-retention license; $50 for a full-season, zero retention license; daily conservation licensing at $5 per day, etc. In general, this moves more toward user-pay and it's hard to argue that frequent fishers wouldn't get value.

I'm the cheapest bastard I know (which reminds me that I need to rinse and dry my dental floss for re-use), but being able to fish for a full season for less than the cost of a night at the movies or splurging and taking the family to McDonalds seems like the deal of a lifetime to me. I know others will disagree and I respect their opinions.

Anyway, I'll give this further thought before I complete the survey.

Paul
 

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Folks,

The issue here, in my opinion, is the governments lack of investment in Recreational Fishing and in particular, Atlantic Salmon. In 1997, the federal government divested itself of the Nova Scotia Salmon Hatcheries. These facilities, paid for with tax dollars, were given away to non-profit groups with "no guarantee of their continued appropriate use after 5 years operation for "the benefit of the public fishery".

A petition to the Office of the Auditor General of Canada by the Queens County Fish and Game Association dated June 25, 1997(from which I qoute) stated their concern about the impact of this decision on the Atlantic Salmon stocks.

The OAG's summary stated, "The Nova Scotia organization mounting this petition addressed a series of questions to the Minister of Fisheries on the Atlantic Salmon Hatchery Divestiture Initiative. The Association argued that the divestiture policy, if implemented for hatcheries in Nova Scotia, would have disastrous consequences for Atlantic salmon stock conservation and restoration programs."

To read the entire petition, here is the link: http://www.oag-bvg.gc.ca/internet/English/pet_007_e_28703.html

Past and present governments have known the state of decline of the Atlantic Salmon, for at least 30 years, and have done NOTHING substantial to remedy the situation. The fact that the Atlantic Salmon is being listed as endangered, in many regions of our province, would substantiate this statement.

The lack of investment in creating and sustaining better quality environment and fish resources has put the burden on NGO's and Associations such as the NSSA.

Why would the government not have assisted by funding a "Liming Project" on the West River, Sheet Harbour? Perhaps, they were afraid it would work and then be required to fund others?

We pay and pay and yet seem to receive very little. The Recreational Sport fishery generates a considerable amount of money in this province currently. Not just directly through licensing, but through indirect revenue collected by taxes on gear, travel, food, accomodations and others. If developed properly, as in other regions, this revenue would increase and generate tourism interests, as well. Even more money could be generated.

Perhaps, if the government started to earmark revenues collected directly from fishing related taxes (ie: licenses, fishing gear, tackle, boats, etc) and put them towards improving the Recreational Fishery, instead of in General Revenue, we would see the improvements required.

Yet, the short sighted and wrong headed thinking of the government has continued to take, while doing very little to improve the environment or fish resources. This short sighted approach has led us to this point. Even when an association tries to improve a system, they are often times shot in the foot by our very governments own short sighted decisions. Allowing industry and (sub) urban sprawl to negate the hard work of these people, who simply want to protect their resources. A task that government seems ill equipped to handle.

Sadly, the government would rather support questionable aquaculture projects and environmentally questionable industries, further endangering wild Salmon stocks, rather than rebuild our environment and resources.

The Sheet Harbour West River idea being surveyed seems to be overlooking the hurdles government will undoubtedly present by way of clear cutting, salmon farms, seal incursions and questionable building permits along the river.

I am against any privatization of public resources and as stated believe, if implemented, it creates a two tier system and sets a precedent that will spread across the province.

Government should be funding this endeavour for the benefit of ALL.

Terran
 
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