The mystery fish of Bonavista North : a multidisciplinary approach to research and management of a unique recreational salmonid fishery in Newfoundland

Sutton, Stephen G. (1997) The mystery fish of Bonavista North : a multidisciplinary approach to research and management of a unique recreational salmonid fishery in Newfoundland. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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    Available under License - The author retains copyright ownership and moral rights in this thesis. Neither the thesis nor substantial extracts from it may be printed or otherwise reproduced without the author's permission.
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Abstract

In the Bonavista Bay North area of Newfoundland there is a unique population of salmonids that supports an extensive recreational fishery. In recent years the population has experienced a serious decline resulting in reduced angling quality. This thesis takes a multidisciplinary approach to research that attempts to overcome some of the problems associated with recreational fisheries management in Newfoundland. The multidisciplinary management approach was used to gather data necessary for successful management and conservation of the population by focusing on both the fish population and the anglers who exploit it. Data on the population's ecology and fishery were gathered by interviewing knowledgeable local anglers and by directly sampling the population. Data on the motivations and management preferences of anglers were gathered by conducting a survey of the general angler population. -- The results demonstrate that the fish is an Atlantic salmon with a life history characterized by extensive use of the estuary in the pre-smolt stages followed by smoltification usually at age 3+ or 4+. The saltwater phase of the life-cycle is of short duration, lasting only two to three months, which results in smaller size and younger age at maturity and a higher incidence of repeat migration between freshwater and saltwater than in typical populations of anadromous Atlantic salmon. Results of the general angler survey demonstrate that anglers are motivated to fish for a number of reasons including, but not limited to, being outdoors, enjoying nature, relaxing, escaping everyday pressures, sharing experiences with others, and the sport of fishing. -- Data gathered from anglers suggests that the most important reason for the population's decline is overfishing resulting from regulations that do not adequately protect the population. The data also demonstrate that there is widespread support among anglers for a new management initiative aimed at enhancing the fishery and protecting the population. The results of the study suggest that new regulations aimed at reducing the harvest and matching more closely the angling season and migration habits of the fish would be an acceptable means of protecting the population and improving fishing quality. Based on the data gathered, specific regulations aimed at improving the fishery and protecting the population are recommended.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/1521
Item ID: 1521
Additional Information: Bibliography: leaves 102-111
Department(s): Science, Faculty of > Biology
Date: 1997
Date Type: Submission
Geographic Location: Canada--Newfoundland and Labrador--Bonavista Bay Region
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Salmon fishing--Newfoundland and Labrador--Bonavista Bay Region; Fishery management--Newfoundland and Labrador--Bonavista Bay Region

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