ASF has a new logo, with cleaner lines, reflecting the importance of both wild Atlantic salmon and the rivers in which they spawn and grow. The colours symbolize water (blue) and nature (green), with the salmon representing motion, action and wildness. The two waves symbolize two languages, plus the rivers and oceans in which Atlantic salmon live.
Launched at the same time, ASF has a new website at http://asf.ca that integrates the logo with a look and approach that focuses attention on the priority issues for wild Atlantic salmon. Have a look and explore the site. There is a guide to the new site in the upper right, directly under the Membership, Donation tags.
This is the year when practicing live release could pay major benefits. By now it is clear the grilse runs are likely drastically lower, with numbers that range between moderately disappointing to desperately low. As you will see from this river report, the Nashwaak has the distinction of the greatest drop in grilse numbers anywhere. Practice live release, and let every grilse count.
Miramichi – Last week was warming up to the point that salmon were finding the “cool spots” where springs bring colder water into pools. However temperatures have been dropping, and should drop further with the cooler weather expected this week. The fishing has been a bit slow, but there are salmon moving up through the system, according to Mark Hambrook.
The mid-July counts are up for the Miramichi facilities, and numbers remain considerably lower than the banner year of 2011. At the Northwest Cassilis Trapnet there had been 114 large salmon to July 15, a significant drop from last year’s 270. For grilse, it was 201 vs 950 last year.
At the Southwest Millerton Trapnet the returns have not been quite as low, with 331 large salmon to July 15, vs. 395 last year. However, the grilse return certainly is far lower, with 356 this year vs. 1,256 last year.
REWARD! One of the kelts equipped with a satellite tag has decided to be a consecutive spawner in the Miramichi, so has re-entered the river. These salmon are equipped with acoustc pingers as well, so the salmon has been tracked up past several receivers. Since the satellite tags do not release automatically in fresh water, it is up to an angler to retrieve and return the tag for the data to be retrieved on where the kelt travelled at sea.
The REWARD for an angler returning the tag to MSA is $200. The device can be removed, and is attached to the dorsal fin area. Handle the fish carefully. Contact number for returning the device, and then to collect the reward, is 506-622-4000.
The salmon has ascended the Northwest Miramichi Branch. For more details, click here
Saint John – Definitely this has been a poor year so far, with only 81 large salmon and 66 grilse to July 15, vs 379 large salmon and 688 grilse in 2011. Meanwhile, on the Nashwaak the return of large salmon has proportionally been even lower with 28 large salmon and a mere 8 grilse to July 15, vs 143 large salmon and 291 grilse in 2011.
Conditions remain at very low water levels.
Cheticamp – River closed due to low water and high temperatures
Margaree – Dead low water levels.
LaHave River – with Morgan Falls Fishway closed for significant periods, the returns are certainly not impressive this year. There were 27 large salmon as of July 15, compared with 68 to the same date last year. And the return of grilse has been very dismal, with 18 to the same date, vs 255 last year.
Newfoundland & Labrador
The big news is the closure of 63 Atlantic salmon rivers due to the low water and temperatures, mostly in central and western Newfoundland, and extending northward to the Torrent, which is at historic low levels, and just beyond to the East River.
For a list of the rivers closed, click here.
NOTE: Some rivers reopened this morning (July 18) in ZONE 13:
146. Harry’s River; 147. Fox Island River & tributary streams; 148. Sperpentine River & tributary streams; 150. Humber River tributaries (including Adies Lake); 151. Hughes Brook; 152. Goose Arm River
Beyond, at the northern end of the Northern Peninsula, the water flows have been better, and there are significant numbers of salmon in the rivers, according to Barb Genge of Tuckamore Lodge.
Exploits – This river must be the brightest beacon for Atlantic salmon this year. To July 15 22,718 Atlantic salmon had come up through the fishway, which is on target for the 2007-2011 average of 22,869, although slightly below the 27,632 last year.
Campbellton River, like many others, has seen a more significant drop in numbers, with 2,974 to July 15, against 4,715 in 2011 to the same date.
Terra Nova River – This stream seems to be holding its own, with 1,814, vs 2,013 in 2011 and well above the 2007-2011 average of 1,503.
Conne River – A return that is nice to see in the beleagured Conne. So far 1,954 salmon have returned, which is a definite improvement over the last few years, with 1,187 in 2011 and the five-year average being 1,719
Torrent – Despite the low water, which could exascerbate the problems with the fishway, the return has been quite reasonable – 2,748 to July 15, vs the 2007-2011 average of 1,306. Last year’s return is not a good comparison, as the fishway was blocked for a period due to the need to inspect it for issues.
In Labrador the rain has been somewhat random, with some rivers picking up flows, and others not so much. For returns:
Sand Hill – The River is running much lower returns with 2,711 to July 15 vs 4,667 last year. However, large salmon are slightly ahead of last year, with 584 vs. 557.
Cascapedia – Darlene Sexton of the Cascapedia Society is reporting for the two weeks ending on July 13, a total of 262 salmon were landed, not the best numbers considering the desperate need for rain, but within the average to date.
Farmers are praying for rain too.. The rain that has materialized comes in strong bursts for short periods of time which doesn’t give the forest time to absorb the moisture. This explains levels rising and falling very quickly.
Bonaventure – The river had a major rain on Saturday, July 14 that took the flow to 35 cubic metres per second, a bit high, but has since dropped to 29. As of last week, the Bonaventure ZEC had reported 429 fish landed, including 297 salmon that were released. Angling success improved greatly after the needed rain in late June.
Matane – Water conditions have improved over the last two weeks. To July 9, a total of 893 fish (608 salmon and 285 grilse) had migrated through the fish ladder, which is on par with 2011 data. To July 9, 220 fish (143 salmon and 77 grilse) had been reported landed.
Dartmouth, St-Jean, York – As of a week ago the flows were reported as slightly higher than normal for the York and St-Jean, while the Dartmouth was described as normal. But according to the gauges, since then the flows have been dropping significantly.
Lower St-Lawrence Region
Matapedia – To July 10, the CGRMP reported that 390 fish had been landed, with 351 fish retained and 39 released.
Causapscal – Angling has now finished on the river. As of a few days before the season end, fish landings in sector 2 were on track to equal and possibly surpass 2011 numbers. Sector 1 numbers were within the last 5 year average. As of July 10, 126 fish have been landed including 15 releases.
Mitis – To July 10, 624 fish had been counted, 423 salmon and 201 grilse. The Mitis Zec reports that 100 fish had been landed (64 salmon and 36 grlise). All numbers are higher than the comparable date in 2011.
Malbaie River – To July 9, 94 salmon and 28 grilse, a total of 122, had migrated through the fish ladder. This compares favorably to 48 fish at the same date in 2011 and 119 in 2010.
Sainte-Marguerite River – As of July 9, for the season, 97 salmon had been released and 2 grilse retained. Water conditions did improve late in June and during the first few days of July.
After the wonderful returns in 2011, the hope was for another good year, but that certainly isn’t happening.
Penobscot – Returns remain low, with 609 salmon at the Veazie Dam by July 16.
The Narraguagus has had 15, the Saco 12, and the Kennebec 5, all returns updated to July 16.