A Personal Live Release Check List

Many rivers have great conditions of water level and temperature right now, and it is time to think about live release again. Have you pinched down the barbs on all hooks? If you use a net, is it either plastic coated, rubber, or smooth and knotless? How is your live release technique? Need a refresher? Have another view of our great new video available on YouTube or Vimeo, or on ASF’s Website – CLICK HERE.

Also check out the note below in the Québec section on registering releases. It is important.

Dartmouth Release

Genevieve Fournier releasing on the Dartmouth, Gaspé, June 19, 2013


With more rivers opened to angling  on June 15, early returns are now indicating good numbers of fish migrating.  River levels have continued to drop and more rain will be needed soon.  Anglers that have been on the rivers during the last week have had great conditions.

A note on looking at numbers from past years: comparative figures are not available in 2013 for the York, Dartmouth and St-Jean Rivers.  Organizations compiling figures covering these rivers have changed to a new system for recording results on their websites and were not in a position to manually input the data into the system from previous years. Later in the season we can offer a very rough comparison, using figures from our Rivernotes of last year, but those results will need to be viewed with caution, and the editor will point this out when such a comparison is made.

Reminder for all anglers in Québec:

Please register your releases. This data is very important in the calculation of the success rate of rivers, and the number of unreported releases is a concern for all river management groups.  The number of reported releases has risen considerably since 1997 when only a few hundred were registered in comparison to 8,420 in 2012. The accuracy of these figures will be even more important in future in determining the number of salmon successfully moving up rivers.

The larger tides coinciding with the full moon will occur on June 23. As long as there are acceptable water levels on the rivers there should be a large migration of Atlantic salmon in the rivers.  We should have a better understanding of the state of runs by the end of June.  Everyone keep their fingers crossed that a full moon brings good runs.

Matapedia River

To June 17, there were 98 fish landed, including six releases, while to the same date in 2012, 71 were landed, including seven releases.  It is important to note that angling was stopped early in June this year due to very high water. This high water had the effect of encouraging the salmon to scoot up river without resting in the lower reaches of the river.
The flow rate on the Matapedia on June 19 was 66 cubic meters/seconds and holding.

Causapscal River

The salmon angling season started on May 15, and the first fish was landed on May 22.  To June 17, 83 fish were landed, including eight releases, and by the same date in 2012, 85 were landed, including 15 releases.  The Causapscal was also closed for a period of five days since the start of angling season.

Matane River

To June 17, 103 fish had migrated through (102 salmon and one lone grilse).  By the same date in 2012, 119 (117 salmon and 2 grilse) had been counted. To June 17, six salmon have been retained compared to five the previous year.  No reported releases to date.

The Matane just received a small bump in water flow which will improve angling conditions.  On June 19 it was flowing at 26 cubic meters/second.


As of June 18, 38 salmon had been reported released in comparison to 88 salmon released at the same date in 2012. Water levels prevented angling for a number of days in early June this year which most likely explains the year to year difference.

Gaspé Rivers – York, Dartmouth, and  St-Jean

Angling on all three rivers was slow starting in late May due to extreme water conditions but river levels have now settled.  On June 19, the York was flowing at 12 cubic meters/second, far less than the 140 on May 25, and the Dartmouth at 8.5 cubic meters/second (210 on May 25).

Angling results reported as of June 18: York 93 salmon released. For the Dartmouth, 49 reported releases.  No data for the St-Jean is available on this date.  All salmon landed on the York must be released until June 21, for the Dartmouth during the entire season and  for the St-Jean to July 30.  Mid-season results from in-river counts determine if a harvest can be maintained on the York and St-Jean.

Moisie River

Ginette Pelletier, program coordinator for the Moisie River Protection Association is reporting angling results at June 16 as follows:

  • Sector 1, 95 salmon killed, 22 released.
  • Sector 2, 32 salmon killed, 38 released.
  • Winthrop-Campbell Sector, 30 salmon killed, 6 released

Yvan Létourneau , manager of the Moisie Salmon Club reports to June 18 that 14 salmon were killed, 92 were released and 99 fish were hooked and lost.  These figures echo those in 2012.  Water temperature is still very good, 12C/54F on June 18, but water levels are continuing to drop.


ASF Canada board member Charles Langlois is reporting more salmon are being observed and landed compared to the same date last year.  The water is low for this time of year and most of the angling action has been at the 13.5 mile pool.  Camp guides are observing more salmon and bigger salmon. The next ten days will reveal the true status of the run on the Nipissis and Moisie-Nipissis.  Several fish over 30lb have been released. Cool water temperatures have undoubtedly kept live release success rates extremely high, close to 100%.

Godbout River

Elaine Ouellette, operations manager for Groupe Cap-Nord is reporting high but very fishable water levels.  The counting and holding fences were installed a few days ago. These will soon start to give us an idea of the size of the 2013 run.  Angling results have been steady to date and improving as the river has started to drop.

Nova Scotia

LaHave: The Morgan Falls Fishway is reporting 69 large salmon and 29 grilse as of June 19. This is far better than the 2012 figure for June 28, that was 20 large salmon and 12 grilse. The fishway needed to be closed for a significant period last year due to low water, which is not an issue in 2013.

Sackville River: DFO has just posted returns to June 15 – two large salmon vs. three in 2012. Zero grilse were reported as of June 15, vs. nine in 2012.

Cheticamp: On June 17, Rene Aucoin reported:

“Great fishing in the earlier past of last week both in the upper and lower sections of the river.  The angling continued to be very good in the upper sections until late in the week when the water levels dropped and very few new fish were entering the river. Excellent signs of fish last Sunday evening at the mouth of the river, waiting for the next rains.”

Margaree: Water levels are dropping fast on all branches of this river that is so volatile in levels and flows. Word was that some salmon have been found in the lower pools, but it is still early days.

New Brunswick

Dungarvon Barrier, Southwest Miramichi, June 16

Dungarvon Barrier, Southwest Miramichi, June 16

Miramichi: The Dungarvon barrier on the Southwest Miramichi is indicating optimistic news – to June 16 there were 15 large salmon, as opposed to six in 2012. Grilse numbers however remain low, with six to June 16, against 10 last year. There is much anecdotal information of salmon moving upstream during the higher water periods in June.

Keith Wilson is reporting excellent fishing, especially with the water levels somewhat above seasonal normal and water temperatures continuing far below last year’s.

On the Northwest Miramichi, various groups on crown reserves are catching fish. Syd Matchett notes the fishing was especially good this past weekend, but perhaps not quite as good early this week. NW Miramichi water levels are now dropping fast. He notes that while the NW Miramichi Barrier has recorded no salmon in their reports (as of June 16), this should change soon. Water temperatures remain nicely cool, around 16C/60F.

Saint John – The June 15 Mactaquac count has just gone up on DFO’s website, and numbers are even lower than last year. To June 15, Mactaquac has counted two large salmon, against nine last year. On grilse, it is one fish, vs. two in 2012 to June 15. Nothing is being reported this year on the Nashwaak, as of yet.

Restigouche – Still good returns, especially 10-12 pounders, and according to David LeBlanc definitely better than last year.


It remains somewhat early days on the island rivers, but there are many cheerful anglers out there, generally reporting good water levels, although they are now dropping. One report from the Bay St. George area detailed two anglers hooking 37 fish in six days. They also were particularly positive about the Grand Codroy, but found fish in all the area’s rivers.

At the Torrent River Interpretive Centre a single Atlantic salmon came in early, and has remained in the fishway. Water levels have been good, but dropping. However a large thunderstorm a few days ago passing over should result in water levels rising again in a day or two. Atlantic salmon are being found in the lowermost parts of the Torrent as well as the Big East River, according to Interp Centre staff.

Exploits – Fred Parsons notes that there were 150 salmon day coming through the fishway on June 19, way up from the weekend. “By early next week, if all goes well, we should have 500 per day coming through. Everything is happening as it should, at this point,” said Fred.

A report from the Humber at Big Falls said water was somewhat low, with few salmon seen.


Penobscot: Returns continue at a level lower than in any year since 2001.

Penobscot Returns to Veazie

Penobscot Returns to Veazie

Besides the Penobscot, there have been two salmon return to the Narraguagus, and single salmon to the Saco, one to the Kennebec, and two to the Andrsoscoggin.

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