Anglers' Guide 2023-2024 - Salmon - Catch-and-Release



  • Catch-and-release limits are in addition to the retention limits.
  • A maximum of three fish on Class 2, Class 4, Class 6 and unclassified rivers.
  • A maximum of two fish on Class 0 rivers.


An angler may catch-and-release salmon where permitted without a valid tag; however a valid salmon inland fishery licence is required for catch-and-release angling of salmon.

Catch-and-Release Advice

Practice safe and responsible release techniques to ensure salmon survival.

Follow these procedures to minimize injury to fish:

  • Barbless hooks must be used.
  • Do not use a tailer.
  • When using a landing net, use one with knotless mesh, as it is less harmful to fish scales, gills and eyes.
  • A leader tip should be heavy enough to bring in large salmon quickly, or light enough to allow large salmon to break off.
  • Move to a quiet water location.
  • Bring the fish quickly into reach, or break it off after a couple of runs.
  • Do not beach the salmon; keep the entire salmon underwater as much as possible.
  • Handle the salmon gently; do not squeeze the fish and avoid touching the gills and eyes. Loss of scales and damage to the gills caused by pressure on the gills or by removal from the water are the most serious injuries a salmon can suffer.
  • Remove the hook gently with pliers or with your thumb and forefinger. If the hook must be left in, cut the leader as close to it as possible.
  • Support the fish under the belly, keeping it in an upright position, underwater and facing into the current.
  • Measure your fish and have a photo taken. Remember to keep the fish in the water at all times and do not hold the fish vertically by the tail.
  • Be patient. Give the fish as much time as it needs to recover and swim away on its own.
  • Anglers should cease catch-and-release angling in extreme environmental conditions (low water levels and high water temperatures).

Remember: Landing, reviving and releasing your fish as quickly as possible and following the above procedures will increase the chances of fish survival.

Watch the Best Practices for Catch and Release of Atlantic Salmon video.