Mr Jack said: "I couldn't be more pleased. Look at this wonderful morning that we've got, and the setting for this event just could not be better. This is one of the first rivers to officially open. We open on January 15 and most of the other major rivers open at a later date.
"It's a symbolic thing. It's not exactly the best of fishing conditions today. We're standing here in the snow and the river is freezing. But nonetheless, it symbolises the fact that the river is now open and available for all to come and fish it."
Over the years, anglers have been encouraged to return the salmon they catch to conserve stocks.
Dr David Summers, river director of the fisheries board, explained: "Basically, in the past, anglers kept all the salmon that they caught, whereas now the culture is that when someone catches a salmon they carefully release the fish back into the water so it continues on and will spawn and add to the future generations of fish.
"This has been a complete cultural change which has taken place over the last 10 or 15 years but now we are finding that over 90% of the salmon caught in the springtime in this river are now released."