A Change of Seasons, A Change of Camera

Photographing an Atlantic salmon being live released is a challenge.

This is especially true if one is to do it right, with Atlantic salmon still in the water, as it should be. It does not improve the salmon’s recovery to be held out of the water for the benefit of the angler – and now there really are better solutions, with the latest generation of incredibly small point-and-shoot waterproof cameras.

This is a small image of an original image taken by Charles Cusson Sunday (Aug. 26) on the Grande Rivière in Gaspe. Yes it is green, but that can be reduced in photoshop or some other software that can process the image. It is gorgeous.

Atlantic salmon lazing in Grande Rivière, QC – photo Charles Cusson

One reason these salmon are so green is because of the distance underwater. Photograph your live release salmon, and the problem is largely not there. But giving it a -77 green and a +33 red and a bit of lightening up and the effect is quite different.

Atlantic Salmon Image Modified – photo Charles Cusson (click image to view larger format)

Something you could work with?  The camera is a Sony TG-610. It comes with 14Mp

Olympus TG-610

sensors, and is shockproof to 5 ft and freezeproof to 10 C/14 F. More important for photographing salmon, this camera is waterproof to 16 ft. and fits in a small pocket It sports a 920K dot 3.0″ LCD and comes with a 5x (28-140mm equiv.) zoom lens.

The Atlantic salmon that stays in the water will recover faster , so give it the benefit of keeping it in the water – whether you are taking photos from above the surface or below it.

River Notes – Change of Season

This week it is all about looking forward to September, and this year that means all about getting some heavy rains to bring up the water flows.


Sad news to start this week. Well known Montreal-based angler and salmon conservationist Robert Tilden passed away on August 22nd.  “Bob was a long-time member of ASF and a fixture at the old office on St-Alexandre street office” recalls ASJ editor Martin Silverstone.  “Bob played a big part in helping create the Montreal chapter of FQSA” stated his friend and angling partner of many years François Chapados.  “He was a driving force behind the success of our dinners for quite a few years.  With his cigar always at the ready and his gregarious laugh, it was an honour to know, work and fish with him.”

Gaspésie Region

Grand Cascapedia – To August 24, Darlene Sexton reported that “38 fish cooperated with anglers this week bringing our total for August to 246. With a few camps not reporting in time for this overview, those unreported fish should bring numbers up somewhat and we should be able to reach 300 fish for the month.”  With a flow of 24 cubic meters/second on the 29th following good rain that traversed the Gaspé Peninsula, angling success should improve.

Bonaventure – For the season to August 28, 918 fish had been landed (653 salmon released and 265 grilse retained).  With low water conditions, most of the fish are holding in the recesses of deep cold water pools, making it challenging to get a rise.

Matane – To August 27, at total of 2,001 fish (989 salmon and 1,012 grilse) have returned to the river.  A total of 721 fish (307 salmon and 414 grilse) have been reported landed.  As of August 29, the Matane was flowing at 9.9 cubic meters/second and rising, thanks to the storm that came through on Monday.  The run of fish on the Matane has now been over 2,000 for 26 consecutive years.  Is there something in the water……..

Live Release Best Practices

Geneviève Fournier releases the star of-theshow in the Grande Rivière – photo Charles Cusson

During three days, August 25 to 27, working with the Agence Gravel production team from Quebec City, FQSA and ASF directed sequences for the live release best practices video.  “The biggest unknown in a production such as this one is always…..will the fish smile for the camera?”  They did, over almost three days of shooting; six wild Atlantic salmon cooperated in order to help us demonstrate the proper methods.  Filming was done on the Grande Rivière and Malbaie rivers near Percé.  Although levels were low, water temperatures made it conducive for hooking and releasing fish.     Post production has already started and a finished product will be available for the widest possible public domain distribution by late Spring 2013.

Lower St-Lawrence Region

Matapedia – To August 28, for the season that started on June 1, the CGRMP is reporting that 748 fish have been landed.  Of these, 693 salmon and grilse were retained in addition to 55 reported releases.  Good angling has come in short spurts after the too infrequent rain this season.

Mitis – To August 27, 918 fish had entered the river, 560 salmon and 358 grilse.  For the season, the Mitis Zec is reporting that 255 fish have been landed (123 salmon and 132 grilse) which include 16 reported releases.  Anybody notice the reversal of numbers from last week…  The author was all thumbs when reporting Mitis numbers last week.

Nova Scotia

Listening to Rene Aucoin on the Cheticamp River, a river he is passionate about, one hears the story of a long, dry summer, when up to 70 or more salmon checked out the river in late June, and just faded back into the ocean vastness. But the Cheticamp River had some rain last week, and it rained heavily night before last, resulting in some Atlantic salmon have been spotted in the river.

Cheticamp River

Like other places, the temperatures are dropping a bit, but it has continued to be a hot summer. The Cheticamp River remains CLOSED for Atlantic salmon angling, but many anglers are hoping there will be something of a salmon season possible in September.

Margaree – Some of the same rain made it over the mountain into the NW Margaree River but much more is needed. It will be interesting to see what September will bring for both rains and runs.

New Brunswick

Miramichi – It is still hot and dry, but there was a little bump of rain at the same time as the Cape Breton rivers saw it, the nights are cooler, taking the edge off the heat, with the beginnings of rain forecasts starting next Wednesday. The rain should be coming. There also could be some fallout due to the destabilizing effect of the latest hurricane.

The conservation limits banning angling on the 15 pools and stretches of river remain in force on the Miramichi.

Jacquet River Salmon Numbers to Aug. 26 (2012 and 2011)

Jacquet River – A few Atlantic salmon are moving into the system, with 7 grilse and one large salmon this week. But as the graph shows, our expectations were raised after last year’s tremendous returns, and met with a difficult year in 2012.

There was a significant rain night before last (Monday night), and more rain may be on the way be middle of next week.



A little more rain sends the salmon upstream, or so it appears. Don Ivany notes that in many rivers anglers are seeing only modest success as the Atlantic salmon are more interested in travelling upstream whenever a rain event happens.

Humber – Apparently there have been quite a number of happy salmon anglers in the Humber River headwaters recently.

The Main River is a good example of one of the Newfoundland rivers starting to experience greater flows in the past week.

Main River flow at Paradise Pool

The latest Atlantic salmon counts are out, with little change. The Exploits is now up to 30,113, as of Aug. 26.

In Labrador, the Sand Hill is at 4,259 as of Aug. 26, vs. 9,516 to the same date last year.

The English River has now reached 444, vs. 517 last year to Aug. 16.

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