Ready or not, angling season starts Tuesday

Eric McCarthy
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ALBERTON --  Here’s a neat statistic brought to you by the Canadian Sport Fishing Industry Association and contained in the Go Fishing 2014 angling summary put out by the P.E.I. Department of Agriculture and Forestry: “More Canadian adults fish than play golf and hockey combined.” 

Mark Lewis, store manager of Alberton Home Hardware sorts through the store’s supply of sport fishing gear. While sales of fishing supplies have been slow during winter-like spring weather, Lewis is expecting interest to ramp up quickly ahead of Tuesday’s opening of the Prince Edward Island angling season.

That should prove comforting to anglers who find themselves dealing with ice and snow near their favour fishing spot Tuesday, the opening date of Prince Edward Island’s angling season.

The weather for opening day is expected to be the warmest so far this spring, with four hours of sunshine to go with it.

Of course, there’s nothing saying anglers have to head out on opening day to be included in the statistic as the season for trout runs until September 15 in most streams.

The daily catch limit for trout is eight at most fishing holes.

But there are exceptions for streams still impacted by fish kills. Trout River in the Coleman area remains closed to all angling this year because of fish kills in 2011, 2012 and 2013. The daily catch limit in the Big Pierre Jacques in Glenwood is three trout and anglers are advised officials will be checking that area closely following reports of abuse of the three-fish limit last year. In the Mill River the limit is six trout downstream from Route 2. The freshwater portion of the stream, upstream from Route Two, as far as the trestle bridge along the Confederation Trail (just upstream from Route 148, the Gaspe Road) is closed to all angling because of a 2013 fish kill.

Rosie MacFarlane, a freshwater biologist with the Province, acknowledges that the summary booklet presents conflicting information about the area upstream from Route 2. She said there were initial plans to open that section to catch and release but a decision was subsequently made to leave it closed so that the stocks could recover and a request was made to Fisheries and Oceans for a variation order.

MacFarlane urged caution in fishing along riverbanks and brooks as snow overhanging the banks could give way under the weight of individuals, and advised anglers to be cautious if they venture out onto ice to fish this year, reminding them there could be springs beneath the ice that could thin the ice from beneath and the ice deteriorates rapidly at this time of year. 

Geographic location: Prince Edward Island, Trout River, Coleman Glenwood Mill River Gaspe Road

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