Originally Published by CBC News, November 12, 2015
It’s grim times for an Old Montreal fishing tour operator who worries that his business might be sunk by the ongoing week-long sewage dump, which will see eight billion litres of sewage pumped into his fishing grounds.
Jean Desjardins has been navigating the St. Lawrence for the last four years with tourists and other anglers who dream of making the big catch.
The St. Lawrence offered great fishing and fish so pristine that their mercury levels registered lower than those found in local markets, he said.
But the sewage dump might forever tarnish that reputation, he fears, as the massive amount of raw sewage is pumped into the waters.
Desjardins is confident that the river will heal itself but whether its reputation will do the same remains another matter.
“The flow of the current will bring the wastewater down river but there’s a picture that people will have in their minds,” he told CBC’s Daybreak.
“Right now you can’t even touch the water, so asking people to come and catch their dinner in it will be hard work.”
Desjardins is unsure whether he will open his ice fishing service this year, as he usually does at the start of January.
He said that so far he has not heard back from the city in his plea for some sort of support to help out his imperilled business but he still holds out hope that municipal authorities might find a way to address his plight.
“I am not sleeping well. I’m getting eight billion litres of wastewater dumped into my office,” he said.
“It’s a sad week for our fishing and the St. Lawrence River.”
Photo courtesy of Pêche Vieux-Montréal/Twitter.