In Newfoundland, the conversations are equally passionate about moose on the road and the state of the Atlantic salmon runs.
This week, travelling north from Port aux Basques to St. Anthony’s provided a snapshot of the rivers flowing at very high levels.
At Harry’s River near Stephenville Crossing the Atlantic salmon are moving upstream at 50 to 60 per night, as noted by the new electronic DIDSON fish counter.
Humber – A visit to Big Falls brought nothing – water levels so high the steps to the rocks beside the falls disappear into the water. Not a single leaper.
Portland Creek – One of two anglers from Pennsylvania had just had success on the property that was once owned by Lee Wulff, and they released it very nicely in deep water. Their guide, Ralph Wentzell of Daniel’s Harbour noted how cold, wet and blustery the conditions had been for the past several days. Ralph Wentzell has a special relationship with Lee Wulff – when he was born, it was thanks to Lee Wulff flying Wentzell’s mother to Corner Brook during a difficult premature birth.
Torrent River – Absolutely no salmon have entered the fishway with its marvellous viewing room. Last year the first salmon went through around June 19, so things are late. The Atlantic salmon are in the mouth of the river however, so undoubtedly the fish will be in the ladder, most likely early next week.
Big East River – Just north of Torrent River, Atlantic salmon could be seen jumping the falls adjacent to the highway bridge Saturday afternoon at 5 pm. It attracted more than a few observers, including a couple of Fisheries Officers who exclaimed with delight every time a salmon made an attempt at the falls.
Northeast Northern Peninsula Rivers – water levels are still high, and very few Atlantic salmon are being found. Some are at the Underground Hole, noted by some staying at Tuckamore Lodge.
Finally there is some decent blue sky, so that the river levels will be dropping in the next few days. That should bring a strong surge of fish up the rivers.