Anglers gear up for 2017 fishing season in N.B.

New Brunswick anglers are gearing up for the opening of the 2017 fishing season.

The season opened Saturday on many rivers and brooks in the province, with additional brooks in the north opening on May 1.

Lakes open on May 1 in the south and on May 15 in the north.

Fisheries and Oceans Canada says catch and release measures for the Atlantic salmon fishery will remain in place this year "in order to maintain conservation benefits."

"Returns of Atlantic salmon in the Gulf Region improved in 2015 and 2016, compared to the record lows of 2014," the department said in a news release.

"However, scientific data indicates that abundance of Atlantic salmon has declined over the past twelve years – or two generations of fish – in most of the rivers in the Gulf Region. The decision to maintain the catch and release measures from last year was made based on this science, in addition to input from consultations held in the fall 2016 and winter 2017."

The New Brunswick Department of Energy and Resource Development reminds anglers that they must purchase a licence, either online or in-person at Service New Brunswick centres or through private vendors.

They also encourage anglers to report their catch to help them better manage the province's recreational fishing resources.