REEL TIME: Know the rules, regulations of angling

During this time of year, a new set of regulations and rules come into effect and anglers need to be aware of these rules to avoid being stopped by local conservation officers and possibly fined. Atlantic salmon are starting to return to our rivers and must be protected. Each year, the provincial Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture and the Federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans combine efforts to ensure that the few salmon returning to our rivers make it back to their spawning beds.

The first thing that I want you to be aware of is fly fishing with artificial only. The definition of an artificial fly, outlined in the Anglers’ Handbook, is as follows: “Artificial Fly — a single hook or double hook or two single hooks dressed with materials likely to attract fish and to which no weight, spinning device or natural bait is attached.”

The reason you need to know this is that many of our rivers have been, or will soon be, designated as fly fishing only. Some rivers have sections closed for a certain part of the season or the entire season. Here is what I found in the Anglers’ Handbook; make sure that you know the geographic references and locations of designated pools before you start fishing.

I am not going to rewrite all of the information that is very well outlined in the handbook, but I will identify the bodies of water and time frames you need to look.

 The Medway River will be designated fly fishing only starting on May 26. There are also sections of the river that will be closed for some or all of the angling season.

 The LaHave River also reverts to fly fishing only as of May 26, until the end of all fishing seasons. Please check out the Anglers’ Handbook because the LaHave has 10 sections of the river that are closed for most, or the rest, of the season.

 The Gold River becomes fly fishing, only as of May 26, and there are also sections closed for the season.

 The Petite Riviere River and a portion of the Mersey becomes fly fishing .

 Wallace Brook also has a section that is closed to angling.

Please read through the handbook if you plan to fish any of these bodies of water. The times, dates and specific geographic references are listed there.

Hey moms and dads, it is children’s fishing derby season. Remember that on May 26 there are two derbies, one at White Point and one at the MARC in Dayspring. There will be lots of folks on the banks willing to help those first-timers.

For folks that would like to give fishing a try, remember that the free weekend where you do not need a license is June 2 and 3.

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