The Provincial authorities of Quebec, judging from reports of the different angling clubs which are just being received, conclude that, generally speaking, the present condition of salmon angling is good. There may be in some streams a slight falling-off in sport, occasioned by the lumbering business, where logs are driven over the pools; but, under normal conditions, it is considered by those authorities that the angling is still very good in almost every one of the Quebec salmon rivers, especially on the north shore of the St. Lawrence, where all the rivers are reported as being in as good a condition as they were ever known to be.
The Provincial Commissioner for New Brunswick regards the subject as one requiring more thorough treatment than the limitations of a letter admit, in order to convey a full understanding of it. He says, however, that if the term "years ago,, means a half century ago, it must be said that the angling conditions are not as good in some of the New Brunswick rivers now as then, while they are fully maintained in others. During the last ten years, however, the salmon angling has been fully maintained.
In the fifty-years period nets on the coast and in the semi-tidal waters have so increased as to make it a matter for wonder that any appreciable number of salmon could escape them, and ascend for spawning purposes during the open season; but this has been partially offset by the improved character and fairly faithful enforcement of regulations against destructive methods of fishing-more especially by artificial culture of salmon.
The records of the salmon-angling clubs, he adds, show that there has been no falling-off in their catches in the last ten years. When the coast and estuary nets are taken up at the end of the open season, the stock of salmon in the fluvial rivers is increased a hundredfold by the up-running schools, and of late years these schools have also been ascending the smaller rivers formerly frequented by trout only. It is true that some of the salmon-angling rivers have fallen off because of log obstructions, laxity of guardianship, or other artificial cause; but this has been compensated for by increased catches in others, where the conditions have been more favourable, and the value of the Government salmon-river leases never was so great as now.
Besides the Restigouche Salmon Club, numerous clubs exist on these waters, and, so far as can be ascertained, the sport continues to be excellent. The season of 1896-ten years ago -is stated to have been the greatest angling year ever known on the Restigouche River, while 1902 was nearly equal to that abnormal year, and the past season, 1905, almost reached as high a point, notwithstanding the fact that the fish were two weeks later than usual in ascending the river. The Officer states that if the conditions had been as favourable as in 1896 a much larger score than that of either that year or 1902 must have resulted, as the Guardians and others are unanimous in reporting that they never saw so many salmon in the river as last year.
This river has about held its own during the last ten years in the face of insufficient protection and the cutting of trees to the water's edge to admit of cultivation by the settlers, with attendant pollutions and disabilities.
Angling in this river is improving. The total catch in 1889 was about fifty fish, which is said to be about the average for the past five or six years; but in 1905 one hundred fish were taken, and the stream is said to be good now for about 200 to 250 fish per annum. While the number of anglers has increased, and greater art and science are brought to bear in capturing the fish in previously untried places, it is stated that the fish have also increased, and this healthy condition is attributed to the continuance of artificial fish-breeding operations conducted by the Dominion Government.
This river is reported to have improved in recent years, mainly owing to the cessation of net-fishing in the estuary.
This river had greatly run down from insufficient protection against poaching; but, owing to increased guardianship, it has considerably improved during the last few years.
A good salmon river; never was in better condition than at present.
There are some small and relatively unimportant rivers on the Quebec side of the bay which are not being developed as salmon rivers.
This river had much deteriorated owing to log-dams and over - netting; but, under new ownership, it is now improving rapidly.
This river is not in good condition, owing to netting in the estuary.
While this river is not quite as good as it was thirty years ago, it has greatly improved recently, and is gaining through careful guardianship and cessation of netting in the estuary.
This river is privately owned, but is reported to have run down, owing to want of guardianship.
This river is reported as not being in as good condition as formerly.
This river is a branch of the Saguenay, and is reported as being in fairly good condition, but not as good as forty years ago.
This is a privately owned river, and is reported as being in as good condition as it ever was known to be, and there is scarcely any limit to the number of salmon that can be taken when the conditions are favourable.
This river is reported as being in fairly good condition, notwithstanding considerable netting in the estuary and neighbouring coast.
This is a large river, in which, it is stated, the salmon angling is as good as it ever was, notwithstanding that the estuary and neighbouring coast are heavily netted.