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Don Hustins Receives Salmon Conservation Award

CANADA - The Atlantic Salmon Federation (ASF) presented its top Canadian conservation award to Don Hustins of St. Johns, NL in Toronto.

Don Hustins is a leader in preserving natural heritage, restoring salmon populations, establishing conservation-oriented regulations for the recreational fishery, and promoting live release in all fisheries, said Michael Meighen, Chairman ASF Canada, as he presented the award to Mr Hustins during meetings of ASFs joint Canada/United States board.

During his career as Newfoundlands Director of Parks and Natural Areas, Mr Hustins had two rivers designated as Canadian Heritage rivers and established the Torngat Mountain National Park in Labrador.

He was a founding member of the Salmonid Association of Eastern Newfoundland established in 1979. He helped set up the St. Marys Bay Atlantic Salmon Enhancement Programme, the first community sponsored Atlantic salmon enhancement programme in Atlantic Canada. Many rivers benefited from this programme, including Rocky River, which had a major fishway installed to provide access to migrating salmon. In 2010, approximately 1,000 salmon returned to this now key salmon index river in Newfoundland.

Mr Hustins also helped establish NLs River Classification System; introduce the use of single barbless hooks on all scheduled salmon rivers; launch improved salmon recreational fishery tags to reduce poaching and abuse; and eliminate the retention of large salmon.

Mr Hustins was president of the Salmonid Council of Newfoundland and Labrador (SCNL) from 2005 and 2011, and a Director of ASF, where his advice and knowledge contributed to sound conservation programmes.

Still active in SCNL, Don leads a new live release training program and works with Aboriginals on an experimental project in Labrador aimed at replacing traditional gill nets in food fisheries with live traps, from which large fish can be released unharmed.

Mr Hustins is writing his third book, this one on the history of fly fishing in Newfoundland after 1949. He has also written for several publications, including the Atlantic Salmon Journal.

This conservation award is named in honour of T.B. Happy Fraser of Montral for his many contributions to protect and conserve wild Atlantic salmon. Since 1975, ASF has honoured more than 40 people, who, like Mr Hustins, have contributed significantly to ensure the wild Atlantic salmons future.

Lucy Towers

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