Salmon Returns – Continued Optimism for the Runs

WHAT A WEEK. In Quebec there are good indications of many strong runs. Check out the Matane’s doubling. Meanwhile in Maine the Penobscot has broken past the 2,000 milestone for salmon reaching the Veazie trap. And in NS and NL the water levels are high and temperatures cool, all good signs. Check out the photo of Humber Falls taken this morning to get a “better picture” of the flows.

QUEBEC – Indications of early runs of numerous salmon and grilse.

Lower St-Lawrence:

Matapedia, Causapscal, Patapedia rivers are bearing witness to runs of numerous fish, landings and releases on all three rivers surpass numbers from same date in 2010 by a factor of 4.  On the Causapscal ,  levels  were so high early in the season that the river was closed for four consecutive days.
Water levels have been dropping steadily during the last week.

Matane River:

The river opened on June 15th, already 140 salmon and 6 grilse have made through the fish ladder.  This is a very high number for this early in the season, usually most of the run does not start until late July.  Increase in run to this date is more than double the 2010 number.


Water levels brought in many fish early in June, resulting in many days of double digit releases.  Overall numbers are slightly lower that same time last year.


First 4-5 days of the season, water levels were too high for angling.  As of  June 17th, 221 salmon have been landed and released, one 40lb and a handful of 30lb’ers.  The wading water has produced excellent results to date, much higher that usually seen at this time in June.  Unprecedented numbers for this time in June, stated long time Cascapedia Society Darlene Sexton.

As high as the water was early in June, rain would be a good thing at this point. Late reports are that rain indeed has arrived.

Also, reports just received this evening indicate large salmon are moving well upstream in the Grand Cascapedia. Home Pool had considerable numbers this week. All of this bodes well for the numbers five or six years down the line.


The York, Dartmouth and St-Jean are reporting excellent angling conditions, many releases (more than usual for this time of year) have been reported, water levels are stable for the time being.

North Shore:

Moisie, water conditions are very good, early season levels were high, many reported releases, up from last year, number of fish landed also.  River is flowing at 850 cubic meters per second.  Ideal flow is approx. 500 cubic meters per second.

Saguenay Region:

Sainte-Marguerite River is also reflecting the same type of results, very good water conditions, much higher fish landings and releases.


There were 2,160 Atlantic salmon at the Veazie Trap on the Penobscot by June 22, and one might be optimistic about the Saco with 70, and even the Narraguagus has 44 (latter two river numbers by June 21). The Penobscot numbers are some of the highest in the past decade, and we can only hope they continue to rise over the next couple of months.

Penobscot Returns to Veazie by June 22, 2011





DFO has updated their site, and generally numbers are falling behind those of last year, but that is no surprise.

Harry’s River – Note that the counting facility has been moved for this western Newfoundland river from far upstream to a site just a kilometre above Stephenville Crossing, almost at the estuary. So while there have been 280 fish counted with the new electronic DIDSON equipment there, it cannot be compared to the 80 last year. Apparently 50 or 60 Atlantic salmon are moving up each night. Remember that this river has a significant number of large salmon, so it will be interesting to see how many of those are being recorded by the DIDSON equipment.

Conne River – While the Conne’s return of 633 is somewhat ahead of last year’s 579, it is not enough to erase concerns for this river that was average 1,500 fish to this date a generation ago.

Humber Falls on June 23, 2011

Humber River – This morning I personally checked the Humber River flows at Humber Falls. The bottom of the steps that descend to the falls were actually underwater, and not a single salmon was seen jumping. A few brave souls were in their waders downstream, but there was no sign of them connecting with a salmon.


The Margaree has high water levels, and some Atlantic salmon are moving into the lower reaches of the river. A few have been hooked by anglers in those first few miles.

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One Response to Salmon Returns – Continued Optimism for the Runs

  1. Douglaa L. Roy M.D. says:

    I have just completed a four day trip on the Usalquitch River (June 19-24), with five other fishermen. We had 26 hookups, nine grilse, 17 salmon. This number far exceed other trips that we had at tis time. Guides state it was the most in their memory. Water was high at the beginning but was fish able. The Upsalqitch is a branch of the Restigouche River in New Brunswick.p

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