Atlantic Salmon Recreational Fishery Newfoundland and Labrador (2019) INTERIM management approach

This is an interim management approach. The complete 2019 Atlantic salmon recreational fishery management approach will be announced at a later date.

During public meetings during the fall of 2018, the Department heard divergent views on the management of the Atlantic salmon recreational fishery; however, the majority of anglers and stakeholders recommended that a decision on the 2019 management approach be announced early.

A full science stock assessment on Atlantic salmon in Newfoundland and Labrador will be conducted on March 5 to 7, 2019.  On February 1, 2019 science conducted a Preliminary Data Review and the review indicates that preliminary data from the end of the 2018 angling season shows a slight improvement in small salmon, such that Atlantic salmon stocks in NL could sustain a retention limit of up to one salmon on all rivers that permit retention.

The interim decision, which balances what we heard from the consultations along with the science advice, will provide more certainty and stability for the angling season.

Dates of season

Zone Area Opens Closes
Zones 3 - 8 Cape Bauld to Cape Race June 1 Sept. 7
Zones 9 - 12 Cape Race to Cape Ray June 1 Sept. 7
Zone 13 Cape Ray to Cape St. Gregory June 1  Sept. 7
Zone 14A Cape St. Gregory to Cape Bauld June 1 Sept. 7
Zone 14B L’Anse au Clair to Cape Charles June 15 Sept. 15
Zones 1 and 2 Labrador North and East June 15 Sept. 15
Fall Angling Gander River, Exploits River, Humber River Sept. 8 Oct. 7

Note: Some individual rivers may have different opening and closing dates. Check the watershed management plans section in the 2019-2020 Angler’s Guide for details. For a complete description of Zones, see the map insert included in the 2019-2020 Angler’s Guide. Note: this guide will be available in the coming months.

Management measures

Interim management measures for recreational salmon fishing in 2019 are as follows:

  • A minimum of a one salmon retention limit on all rivers in Newfoundland and Labrador.
  • Catch and release limits will remain at three fish per day for all rivers in Newfoundland and Labrador.
  • Retention of salmon on non-scheduled waters is not permitted.
  • Retention limit on some rivers may increase considering the science advice from the Regional Advisory Process (RAP).
  • DFO will develop a more responsive and multi-faceted environmental protocol in consultation with stakeholders through the advisory process.
  • Full details on the regulations, seasons, bag limits, river classification, closed areas and special management areas will be contained in the 2019-2020 Angler’s Guide which will be available in the coming months on line at

Links to other information

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