Youth in New Brunswick to Access Prime Fishing Waters

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Youth younger than 16 would have easier access to some of the province's best salmon and trout fishing waters as a result of amendments introduced to the Fish and Wildlife Act.

"This is a new initiative to provide additional opportunities for young anglers to join family or friends to fish on the province's Crown reserve waters," said Natural Resources Minister Wally Stiles. "The changes we are proposing would allow youths younger than 16 to accompany a parent, relative or friend without being a member of the official party and without having to purchase a Crown reserve licence."

Crown reserves are a limited-entry fishery available only to New Brunswick residents. Depending on the stretch of Crown reserve water involved, parties of two or four persons apply to a computerized draw for the right to fish there on specific dates. Successful applicants must buy a Crown reserve licence in addition to a provincial angling licence.

Stiles said the amendments would allow someone younger than 16 to accompany a licensed member of a successful party. The adult and youth would be required to take turns fishing the Crown reserve stretch.

Another amendment would make it possible for youths younger than 16 who are not New Brunswick residents to angle for any species of fish, including Atlantic salmon, without having to buy a fishing licence. Non-resident youths would be treated the same as New Brunswickers younger than 16.

Youths would not need a salmon fishing licence as long as they are accompanied by a holder of a salmon licence. Any salmon caught would be included in the licence holder's bag limit. There would be an option for youths younger than 16 to buy a salmon licence if they wish to use their own tag to retain a fish.

"Sport fishing is an important part of the culture of this province as well as an important contributor to the provincial economy," said Stiles. "Making it easier for children to take up this activity and promoting angling as a family activity will help ensure it remains an important part of our culture as we move toward a self-sufficient New Brunswick."