If you go fishing on the Miramichi the dangers of ice have somewhat receded, but conditions, as one correspondent said yesterday, are still “pretty miserable, mostly cold”.
Over the weekend the news seemed to be that the Atlantic salmon were very lethargic about taking flies. In addition, water levels have been up again. But now we are in for a stretch of good weather, we hear, so that should improve conditions markedly for the weekend and beyond.
Further downstream, word is that the striped bass fishery has also been slow due to the cold water conditions. Word is that the the striped bass numbers are now many times the conservation requirement for the species. Thus everyone concerned about predation on Atlantic salmon smolts leaving for the ocean would be happier to see a more successful striped bass angling season.
A photograph taken by David LeBlanc on April 28 says a lot about the season on the Restigouche. Taken on April 28, just nine days ago, it shows an angler in the foreground while a ski hill in the background is still covered with snow. While the snow has largely melted, it is still a cold time for angling.
As of May 6 salmon were still not taking flies on the Restigouche.
What does this all mean for smolt going out? This is temperature dependent, so their movements are also being delayed. There is a smolt wheel in place on the Nashwaak in the Saint John River system, and just a few smolts are being counted.
As of Wednesday morning not a single Atlantic salmon had passed through a trap in the State of Maine. For those interested, the page of counts in Maine has been changed:
For trapcount links on ASF’s website, look at the bottom of the page, in a column towards the right hand side.
The newly built Milford Trap on the Penobscot River is working well, but being a new facility, it has a few bugs still being worked out, according to staff. At the moment the flows are still too high below the dam to make the fishway effective.
In the Penobscot Watershed there is still ice in the headwaters of the Piscataquis River.
In the Connecticut River, there have been no Atlantic salmon, as of Tuesday.