Salmon Fishing in the Town of Port Hope This Season May Come To An Abrupt End

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Given what the Deputy Mayor and a councillor of Port Hope saw on Saturday, August 29, 2020 salmon fishing within the town may come to an abrupt end shortly.

Deputy Mayor Les Andrews and councillor Jeff Lees weren’t happy with what they witnessed along the Ganaraska River on Saturday afternoon.

Andrews said around 6 p.m. he counted close to 200 people fishing along the river near the area of the boat launch.

“I saw a lot of families, I saw social distancing. I saw a lot more people that I expected to see. No masks, absolutely no masks.”

“That’s an issue.”

Andrews said at the council meeting on Tuesday, September 1, 2020 they will discuss, what portion, if any remains open for fishing this salmon season.

A survey conducted yielded 200 responses about the wishes of members of the town.

“The vast, by far, the vast majority have said close it down. Just like we did for trout season.”

Andrews said he doesn’t believe the town has jurisdiction south of the railway viaduct and north of Highway 401.

But everything in between on municipal lands may be closed following Tuesday’s council meeting.

Because of COVID, at this time, depending on Tuesday’s meeting, Port Hope may not want the influx of visitors.

If council decides to shut fishing down on municipal land within the town limits, Andrews said it still may not help people congregating on bridges looking at the fish which attracts thousands each year to view the salmon run, and also anglers.

On Saturday, there were anglers from across the province that spoke with Today’s Northumberland.

Some understood shutting it down because of the high numbers of people coming to town.

Last year there were 48 busloads of people that visited Corbett’s dam just to view the fish jump.

Councillor Lees said that was only the buses that registered with the town – there could have been many more that visited.

Lees said after walking up and down the river on Saturday he described it as a “zoo.”

Stating there was garbage along the river, fishing line and people not respecting the two metre social distance he also agrees fishing should be closed for the salmon run.

“It’s not good in my opinion.”

Lees said he is in favour of closing fishing in town which is option 2 on the agenda.

“Option one just covers closing the fish ladder and that doesn’t really clean up all these other problems.”

Andrews summed it up by saying, “I hate to be a hard ass, but in spite of people we’re trying to protect them.”

Pete Fisher
Author: Pete Fisher

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