Thank you very much.
I come from New Brunswick and I live in the village of Charlo, next to Chaleur Bay, at the head of the Restigouche River. We are concerned, and my friend Pat Finnigan has been telling me about the striped bass issue in the Miramichi River for a long time. This is of great interest to me for reasons of culture and heritage, and we are also concerned, back home in the Restigouche area, about the salmon fishery.
The figures I hear about the striped bass worry me a lot. The striped bass, which was not present in the waterways around the northwest of Chaleur Bay, is now present in those waters. You can fish them every summer, with both feet on the shore, simply by pulling on your fishing rod. The striped bass is voracious. One of my friends caught a big one last summer. In its stomach, there were six small lobsters of about six inches each, still intact. And yet even though it had these four lobsters in its stomach, the bass took the bait to try and eat more.
My first question is for Mr. Taylor. Are we sure that the striped bass spawning grounds are limited to the Miramichi River? Is there some way we can be sure of that?
Perhaps Mr. Hambrook could also answer that question.