Barbless fishing proposed for River Philip

Christopher Gooding
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OXFORD – Unless you live near the Bras D’or Lake in Cape Breton fishing season has come to an end for Nova Scotia anglers but already anglers are looking ahead to the 2014 season.


The first of the province’s Recreational Fishery Advisory Council Meetings took place in Oxford Tuesday night, with some proposed changes to local waterways in Cumberland County, including the River Philip and Maccan River.

On the books for discussion is fly-fishing only on the River Philip from Collingwood Fork to the tidal boundary from Sept. 1 to Sept. 30, to prevent the angling of salmon on spinning gear, while a catch and release brook trout season is being proposed from Apr. 1 to May 14. Afterwards, from May 15 to Aug. 31, a reduced bag limit of two per day, no less than 14 inches, is being proposed. It’s also suggested the trout season extend from Oct. 31, catch and release only, using barbless fly tackle.

From the floor, it was suggested if the proposed changes go forward for the River Philip anglers would be required to always use barbless hooks.

“Because it overlaps the salmon season, it makes sense,” Fisheries Manager Alan McNeill said.

The popularity of the River Philip for salmon and trout fishing does propose challenges to enforcement officers, the panel heard, especially differentiating which catch anglers are after, but a switch to barbless hook for both trout and salmon would prevent some confrontations in the future.

“It’s [often] the same tackle for salmon and trout,” McNeill said. “You’d have to prove what is being fished for, but you can’t ask for people to buy two licenses [general and salmon].

A proposed change for the Maccan River, downstream from the Southampton bridge, would be fly fishing only from Apr 1 to May 14, no retention; a bag limit of two from May 15 to Aug. 14, and then back to a fly fishing, no retention, from Aug. 15 to Sept. 30.

The proposals have yet to go before the province’s fishing management authority, McNeil said, and proposals can either be approved, rejected or approved with amendments.

Other proposals and items up for discussion included stocking and potential areas to increase winter sport fishing in Cumberland County. Presently, Angevine Lake is the only source of winter sport fishing in Cumberland County but Isacc Lake and Sutherlands Lake were presented as prospective sights in the future. Long Lake and Wood Lake near the Amherst Marsh were also offered as suggestions due to their popularity for white perch.

Recreational Fishery Advisory Council Meetings will continue throughout the province. More information can be at or by calling 902-485-5056.


Upcoming management meetings:

Wednesday, Nov. 6

Wagmatook Area 1 - Cape Breton (Cape Breton, Inverness, Victoria and

Richmond counties)

Wagmatook Culture and Heritage Centre, Great Room, 10765 Hwy 105


Thursday, Nov. 7

Area 2 - Eastern Northern (Antigonish, Pictou, and Guyborough counties)

The Claymore Inn and Suites, Cameron Room, 137 Church St., Antigonish


Wednesday, Nov. 12

Area 5 - Western (Annapolis, Kings and Hants counties)

Old Orchard Inn, Salon C, Exit 11, Hwy 101, 153 Greenwich Rd., Wolfville


Wednesday, Nov. 13

Area 4 - Southern (Digby, Yarmouth, Shelburne, and Queens counties)

Annapolis Basin Conference Centre, Cornwallis Room, 761 Broadway Ave.,

Cornwallis Park  


Thursday, Nov. 14

Area 3 - Central (Halifax and Lunenburg counties)

Park Place Hotel and Conference Centre, Akerley Room, 240 Brownlow Ave.,



Organizations: Recreational Fishery Advisory Council Meetings, Claymore Inn, Old Orchard Inn Park Place Hotel

Geographic location: Cumberland County, Maccan River, Oxford Cape Breton Antigonish Annapolis Sutherlands Lake Long Lake Wood Lake Inverness Victoria Richmond Hants Greenwich Wolfville Shelburne Broadway Lunenburg Dartmouth

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