Miramichi Fishing Report for Thursday, August 17, 2017

Reminder: August 17 (Tonight) – 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. – Cocagne Marina, 130 Marina Road, Cocagne, NB

Consultation on marine recreational fishing licences for eastern Canada

Current status: Open

On May 19, 2017, it was announced that we would consider a new marine recreational licensing system in eastern Canada.


There’s general agreement that a licence would help improve stock assessments and promote sustainable management practices. Feedback is required to help with the proposal for a marine recreational fishing licence to identify gaps and provide input and local expertise.

Past actions
Between 2001 and 2005, we explored the possibility of a marine recreational fishing licence for groundfish in parts of Newfoundland and Labrador, and Quebec. In 2016, consultations were held on a proposal to introduce a licence and tags. Discussions have also been held with various groups on the benefits of a licence.

The results of these past actions demonstrate:

  • the importance of recreational fishing to the culture and life of local communities
  • that a licence is seen as a way to ensure that sustainable fishing opportunities continue for future generations of Canadians


This consultation is looking for comments from stakeholders, including:

  • anglers
  • Indigenous groups
  • charter boat operators
  • provincial representatives


Some stocks are recovering (cod in Newfoundland and Labrador, striped bass in New Brunswick) and others require special attention (mackerel). Because of this, our proposal indicates that:

  • there would be no requirement to purchase tags
  • the annual licence would cover April 1 to March 31
  • there would be only one licence for the selected marine species
  • initially, the licence could be offered at no cost to anglers
  • it would be available online, with mandatory catch reporting
  • it would have a category for charter boats and for individual anglers
  • clients on charter boats would be covered by the boat licence
  • priority currently given to Indigenous groups for food, social and ceremonial fisheries will remain unchanged

Feedback questions
We want to get your feedback on the following questions.

  1. A decision may be made to eventually apply a fee to the proposed licence. What should the fee entail in terms of levels of fees, categories of licences, timing of implementation or other items of interest?
  2. The licence would initially apply to groundfish, mackerel and striped bass (except in Quebec). Are there other marine species that should be included? Are there any concerns about mandatory catch reporting?
  3. On the Pacific coast, the licence is issued online. What type of support would be needed for such a system in eastern Canada? What management conditions should be included on the licence?
  4. Are there any other issues that should be considered?

When and where

Face-to-face consultations will take place at various locations in eastern Canada until August 31, 2017. Dates and locations will be made available below as they’re confirmed.

How to participate

If you want to participate in the consultation, you may:

Your feedback will be used to develop options going forward.

Related information

Deck for consultation
PowerPoint Presentation

Contact us

Attn: Marine Recreational License for Eastern Canada
Room 13S038 – Fisheries Resource Management
Fisheries and Oceans Canada
200 Kent St
Ottawa ON K1A 0E6
Email contact:

Head Guide Andrew Anthony with fish caught by Ledges guest Rose Arsenault

Head Guide Andrew Anthony with fish caught by Ledges guest Rose Arsenault.

MIRAMICHI – Fishing continues to be slow on most parts of the river system. A little rain late last week resulted in a day or so of decent fishing, but it was not enough to make any significant difference. The rivers remain low and only the cooler nights and shorter days are keeping the morning temperatures of the water in the mid 60s Fahrenheit, but most days it climbs to mid 70s. A good day’s rain is desperately needed, or anglers are going to have to take a bucket of water with them when they go to the river.

W. W. Doak and Sons in Doaktown said fishing in the Doaktown area was slow and the water low with only a fish being caught here and there. Rain last weekend was very localized and didn’t have a lot of effect on the water height.

However, further up river angling was fairly good in holding pools with cooler water. Cooler nights are the saving grace.

Flies of choice were Bombers, some bugs and an odd Butterfly along with smaller dark patterns such as White-tailed Green Machines and Same-Thing-Murrays on nos. 8 & 10 hooks.

Andrew Anthony of Ledges Inn in Doaktown and Mountain Channel in the Rapids area said they had picked up maybe a half dozen fish this past week until the weekend. Then there were none until Wednesday morning when one was hooked at Mountain Channel. On Tuesday evening Mountain Channel saw about 10 fish moving through. The Doaktown area around Ledges has been quiet. Fish were starting to move to the cold-water pools again. Cooler nights were getting the fish through the low and warm water later in the days.

Flies of choice were smaller Black and Brown Bombers, small dark flies such as Conrads on nos. 8 & 10 hooks.

Herb Barry Sr. of Herb’s Fly Shop on the Station Road in Blackville said there were very few fish being caught, and very few anglers out. The water was low and warm, particularly mid to late day. He was praying for a good rain.

Flies of choice were Dry Flies and Bombers.

Curtis Miramichi River Outfitting in Blackville said anglers were seeing some fish, but few were taking due to low and warm water conditions. A salmon was caught Monday and an odd fish here and there over the week, but certainly not many.

Flies of choice were White-tailed Green Machines, Green Smurfs, Same-Thing-Murrays, Green-butt Bear Hairs, and White-tailed Green Machines with red butts on nos. 6, 8 and 10 hooks. Anglers were also using a variety of Bombers.

Jim Laws of Miramichi Hunting and Fishing in Newcastle, Miramichi reported the fishing as very slow with the water warm by mid-day. Night temperatures were being a buffer, keeping mornings in the mid 60s Fahrenheit. Generally, there were very few anglers out.

Flies of choice were White-tailed Green Machines, Black Bugs and some Ally’s Shrimps.

Caught Aug 8th by Jeff Morris on the Northwest Miramichi

Caught Aug 8th by Jeff Morris on the Northwest Miramichi.

Syd Matchett of Trout Brook Fly Shop on the Northwest Miramichi said angling was very quiet and the water was as low as it had been two weeks ago. A thunder storm spiced things up a bit for half a day or so, but there were very few anglers out. He had not seen crews from Crown Reserve waters, and there were openings available. Decent night temps were making the situation tolerable.

Syd was pondering how to improve his “fish wheels” by adding 4-wheel-drives and winches to them so the fish could have a chance to get from pool to pool in such low water.

Flies of choice were White-tailed Green Machines, small dark patterns and Bombers.

Debbie Norton of Upper Oxbow Outdoor Adventures on the Little Southwest Miramichi said they were having a great time fishing, but not catching many. They were waiting for tides to bring in more water and fish. She was anticipating a good fall run and looking for a good rain.

Flies of choice were White-tailed Green Machines with Krystal Flash and Black Marabou Hair without a body on no. 10 hooks.

So as we move through August we are in desperate need of rain. If we can get a good dumping, fishing should improve greatly and we can get out and “on the water”.

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The Coalition for Better Salmon Management (CBSM) now has a website at salmonnb.com, which has been expanded and updated. It already has a membership over 1,000 and is a major voice for salmon conservation here in New Brunswick.


Atlantic Salmon Federation News
Thurs., Aug. 10, 2017

SPECIAL ASF RIVERNOTES – “Round-up” of European Rivers
Check out the latest on North American returns, plus our Annual Mid-season Survey of Europe’s Salmon Rivers – from Iceland to Spain and from Russia to Ireland. Additionally, there are notes on NB cold water pool openings, and in Newfoundland the closing of the retention fishery for salmon for 2017.

ASF Asks Anglers to share sighting reports of Striped Bass in salmon rivers
There has been an alarming increase in the number of Striped Bass sightings far upstream from tidewater in Atlantic Canada, Quebec and even Labrador in 2017. ASF is now asking anglers to share their sightings in salmon rivers with our biologists by filling out a simple one-page survey. Anglers can provide valuable information in understanding the impact the Striped Bass may be having on juvenile salmon and other fish.
EN  https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/asfbass
FR  https://fr.surveymonkey.com/r/asfbassf

Could Striped Bass Harvest be Part of the Solution?
The massive increase of Striped Bass numbers, and their being found dozens of miles upriver from tidewater, is bringing new attention to the species.

Is NB about to declare the Restigouche a Provincial Park?
Check out an article on the NB government considering the future of the Restigouche.

Genetically Modified Salmon Hits Store Shelves in Canada
AquaBounty has sold 4.5 tonnes of GM salmon in Canada and it is making news around the world.

Find of Pacific Pink Salmon in UK Rivers Causing Fear for Atlantic Salmon Future
Pink Salmon, originally released by Russia in rivers near the White Sea, are showing up in unprecedented numbers in UK rivers this year and causing alarm amongst Atlantic salmon conservationists.

To keep track of breaking news on wild Atlantic salmon, use the Atlantic Salmon Federation’s presence on Facebook. Log in, search for Atlantic Salmon Federation, and click “like”.

Anyone wishing to report suspicious fishing activity anonymously is asked to contact the nearest Fisheries and Oceans Canada office or to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477

Until next week

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