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THE QUEBEC REGION BULLETIN
AUGUST - SEPTEMBER 2011/VOLUME 14/NUMBER 4
In June 2011, the St. Lawrence Estuary striped bass population was listed pursuant to the Species at Risk Act (SARA) and is now protected under this legislation.
The St. Lawrence Estuary striped bass had been gone from the St. Lawrence River and Estuary for over 40 years. In 2004, the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) designated this population as extirpated in Canada. However, thanks to a reintroduction program undertaken by the Ministère des Ressources naturelles et de la Faune du Québec (MRNF), the striped bass is now officially back and ready to reoccupy its original place.
To protect and support its recovery, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, working closely with MRNF and some other partners, has drawn up a recovery strategy that has now been posted on the Species at Risk Public Registry. The goal of this strategy is to restore in the St. Lawrence a striped bass population that will reproduce and maintain itself without disturbing the biological community. It notably sets out recovery measures and designates an essential habitat—Anse Sainte-Anne at La Pocatière. Before this document becomes official, the public has until September 4, 2011 to comment it.
Since it is protected by the Species at Risk Act, it is prohibited to kill, harm or catch striped bass from the St. Lawrence Estuary population or to destroy its essential habitat. Although few in numbers as yet, striped bass are regularly caught accidentally by sport anglers or commercial fishers. The recovery strategy authorizes sport and commercial fishing activities subject to certain conditions: any St. Lawrence population striped bass caught while fishing either for recreation or commercially must be released immediately in such a way as to maximize its chances of survival.
Awareness raising tool encouraging people to release striped bass caught accidentally
By adequately releasing the striped bass you catch, you give them a chance to reproduce. In this way, you contribute to the recovery of this species in Quebec.
Profile of the St. Lawrence Striped Bass
Recovery strategy for the Striped Bass (Morone saxatilis), St. Lawrence Estuary population, Canada
Jacinthe Beauchamp and Marthe Bérubé
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