Atlantic Salmon on the Move

Atlantic Salmon at Causapscal Falls - in June, one of best locations for photographing leapers

The first reports have arrived of Atlantic salmon returning from the sea. General reports are that Atlantic salmon have been coming in somewhat early to the Causapscal River in Quebec’s Gaspé. These early reports are for higher early numbers than in past years, perhaps indicating an overall early run.

Atlantic salmon angling season opens tomorrow, May 25, in Gaspé. We should have more detailed reports for you by next week.

In the Miramichi, meanwhile, no surprise that there were still no signs of Atlantic salmon moving upstream. Meanwhile,  reports of large numbers of striped bass in the estuaries. Striped bass are known predators of the outgoing Atlantic salmon smolts.


Atlantic Salmon Continue to come into the river, with 168 so far at the Veazie fish trap. So far this is another promising year, with Atlantic salmon coming in steadily at about 60 per day this week.

Atlantic Salmon at Veazie - to end of May 23, 2012

Research Update – ASF Working on the Cascapedia

Cascapedia smolts recovering after surgery, before continuing migration

Despite the high water levels, the smolt wheel was successfully launched and put in place  on the Grand Cascapedia. For the past few days , ASF researchers, Jonathan Carr and Graham Chafe, have been working to insert acoustic transmitters into 65 smolts in that river, to follow their progress down the Baie des Chaleurs, and across the Gulf of St. Lawrence on their way to distant feeding grounds.

As noted in the previous River Notes, the various lines of receivers in the Baie des Chaleurs were successfully deployed last week.

Baie des Chaleurs Lines of Receivers

The Wider Picture

It will be interesting to see the pattern of outward smolt movement from North American rivers this year.  The line of receivers across Cabot Strait is essentially now complete, the Strait of Belle Isle’s 22 receivers will be in place next month, and off the eastern side of Nova Scotia a line of receivers stretches out almost to the edge of the continental shelf.

This will be the first year with both exits from the Gulf of St. Lawrence wired, allowing researchers to determine the paths to far-off  feeding grounds from all the smolts fitted with transmitters from the Miramichi, Cascapedia and Restigouche rivers. And the line of receivers off Halifax should pick up all the smolts from Maine rivers that survive the journey that far.

It should be an interesting year for both angling and research results.

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