Gaspé has some of the best salmon fishing that Canada has to offer. Within 30 km we have three salmon rivers that rival the best in the world. The names of the rivers are the York River, the Dartmouth River, and the St-Jean River.
Public fishing is allowed on all three rivers. However, to fish on these rivers you need a salmon fishing permit and a daily pass. The permit is an annual license that allows the fisherman to catch 7 salmon or grilse for the year. It costs about $40 for a Quebec resident and $110 for a non-resident. Note however that the St-Jean river is catch and release only for salmon this year. You can keep any grilse that you catch.
The daily pass allows you to fish on a certain section of the river for one day. Our rivers have been divided into zones, each containing several good pools. Daily passes are bought for a particular zone, thereby giving the angler the right to fish that zone for one day. The cost of the passes vary from $30 to $100 depending on the quality of the fishing pools in the zone. Most zones are restricted, meaning that the number of fisherman allowed on those zones is limited.
Lotteries decide who gets to fish the restricted zones. Half the rods are decided in a winter lottery and the other half are drawn daily, for fishing 48 hours after the draw. You enter the daily lottery by completing cards on which you list the zones you want to fish, in order of preference. The cost last year was $2 per card. All three rivers have one unlimited zone however, which has no restrictions on the number of anglers per day. It is also the cheapest zone to fish.
Fishing our rivers is very easy. All the zones and pools are clearly marked and the roads are good. The York River is entirely accessed by a paved highway. The St-Jean and the Dartmouth are accessed on a gravel road, but you can drive on them with a car if you are careful.
Contact the Z.E.C. in Gaspé at (418) 368-2324 or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information on fishing our great rivers. They can also suggest a good salmon fishing guide if you need one. Good luck fishing this summer.