‘Sea trout for supper’: Social media one of the tools used in fight against poaching

Members of the Facebook group, The Salmon Anglers of Newfoundland Guild, expressed some anger towards a post made to the group last week by someone with the profile name, Neil Morgan.

Morgan’s post included a picture of five untagged fish with the caption “Sea trout for Supper.” It wasn’t long before several anglers wrote that the fish in the photo were actually Atlantic salmon and not sea trout.

DFO wouldn’t make anybody available to do an interview, as it’s an ongoign investigation, but did provide a prepared statement Friday. The email said the fish in the photo were identified as Atlantic salmon based on the physical characteristics of the five fish.

Keith Piercey, an active member of the Salmon Preservation Association of the Waters of Newfoundland (SPAWN), has no doubt the fish in the picture are Atlantic salmon, but that doesn’t necessarily mean there has been any illegal activity without really knowing where the fish were caught. He said it really on depends on whether these particular fish were sea-run Atlantic salmon or ouaniche (landlocked salmon).

If the fish are indeed sea-run then Piercey believes it’s clear there is illegal activity and anglers have a right to be upset.

“You have to put tags on them as each one is caught so obviously it wasn’t put on as each one was caught because five of them are there with no tags,” he said. “If it was two days’ catch the maximum you can have is four and he’s got five.”

By looking at pictures, he said he couldn’t be sure if the fish were landlocked or not.

If the fish are indeed landlocked salmon, then there’s no need for anybody to be concerned.

“He’s OK as long as he doesn’t go over the limit of five plus one,” he said.