In Gaspé They are Coming In

On Wed., June 25, Steve O'Brien, ASF (US) Director, prepares to release an 18 lb. salmon in the Montgomery Pool of the Grand Cascapedia River in Gaspe.

On Wed., June 25, Steve O’Brien, ASF (US) Director, prepares to release an 18 lb. salmon in the Montgomery Pool of the Grand Cascapedia River in Gaspe.

ASF’s Director of Quebec Programs Charles Cusson saw it clearly as he travelled around the Gaspé a few days ago – the angling is picking up. Perhaps it really was the colder water keeping the Atlantic salmon from entering the rivers and beginning the freshwater part of their migration to spawning areas.


Overall, water levels remain good to very good. Even though numbers remain generally lower than in previous years, there is anticipation of better things to come with the full moon of July 12. We shall see, as they say.

Matapedia River
To June 25, 161 salmon were landed (an increase of 105 since June 16) and the number included 25 releases).  A year ago, to June 25 2013, 227 fish had been reported landed (including 18 releases).  In 2012 to the same date, 164 fish including 15 releases had been reported.  From June 25 to 26, the flow on the Matapedia rose in 24 hours from 46 cubic meters per second to 68.

Causapscal River
Having received a bump in water flow as well, angling during the last few days has slowed.  Yves Leblanc, who has guided the “Causap” since 1994 when the river was opened to angling, reports the explosive increase in “salmon action” had not been seen for 20 years.  Keeping in mind the first fish was landed on June 3.  To June 25, 121 fish have been landed (including 7 released).

At the same date in 2013, 125 fish had been landed (including 14 releases), with first fish landed on May 22 2013.  In 2012 to date, 92 fish had been landed including 15 releases.

Cascapedia River
Angling has been up and down since June 1 with good levels of water but cold temperatures.  Maine resident Marc Cabot, a long-time visitor to the rivers of the Gaspé and Lower St. Lawrence reported his group landed and released 30 salmon from June 15 to June 22.  Dawson Hovey, chairman of ASF’s Fall Run Dinner, accompanied by his son Tristan and guided by David Bishop, reported having three productive days where 5 bright salmon between 15 and 25 pounds were released.  Junior St-Onge, manager of Salmon Lodge, reported the river rising at least 12 inches and flow increasing from 38 cubic meters per second to 84 cubic meters per second during a 12 hour period on June 25.

John Shipley releasing an Atlantic salmon, keeping the fish well in the water of the Cascapedia River, at New Derreen Camp.

John Shipley releasing an Atlantic salmon, keeping the fish well in the water of the Cascapedia River, at New Derreen Camp.

York – Dartmouth
York – To June 25, 70 fish were reported  landed which included 54 releases.  To date in 2013, 144 salmon had been landed with 115 releases declared.  The York was flowing at 36 cubic metres per second, up from 21 meters on June 20.

Dartmouth – To June 25, 40 releases have been registered.   To the same date in 2013, 110 salmon had been reported returned to the wild.  In 2013 at the same date, 115 salmon were landed which included 110 releases.  An in-river count will be conducted in early July to determine if a harvest can be supported this year.

To June 25, 88 salmon have made their way through the counting facility and 5 salmon have been landed.  To date in 2013, 195 fish had migrated through (194 salmon and 1 grilse) with 31 fish landed (30 salmon and 1 grilse).  On average, the bulk of the Matane run does not start to appear until mid-July.

Moisie River
Ginette Pelletier of the APRM (Association de protection de la rivière Moisie) reports to June 22 ideal water levels.  To that date, 121 salmon were reported landed, 85 killed and 36 released in the Winthrop-Campbell and ZEC sectors.

Manager of the Moisie Salmon Club Yvan L’Étourneau reported good angling early in the season with mainly 25-pound salmon being hooked.  To date at June 25, 40 salmon have been landed and released plus 30 salmon hooked and live released.  Not many fish have been seen jumping or swirling.  On June 26, the Moisie was flowing at 480 cubic meters per second, down from 680 cubic meters per second on June 20.


Anywhere in Newfoundland, keep an eye open for suspicious activity that could be related to poaching. So far there have been six cases, and undoubtedly more coming. Each and every angler has a role as unofficial river guardian on rivers in Newfounland – and on every river elsewhere as well!

Overall, the phrase best describing the angling this year is “continued slow”. On the Humber, some salmon are being caught at Big Falls, with water levels having dropped significantly in the past week or so.

Conne River now has a short season open. It started June 24, but will close again July 5 to 8 while the state of the river is assessed. As of June 22, the counting fence was only reporting 495 salmon, down from 1,541 in 2013.

Exploits River is being the major puzzler this year, with only 154 salmon counted to June 22, vs. 1,724 in 2013. Checking today’s tally, only 66 in during the 24 hours, and 250 the previous day.  Definitely the Atlantic salmon are late.

Torrent River – The salmon continue to be most obvious by their absence.


It is worth noting that none of the counting fences in Labrador were reporting fish this year, although the Sand Hill River had reported four grilse and eight large salmon by June 22 in 2013.

New Brunswick

Kevin McDevitt releases a magnificent 32 lb. Atlantic salmon at the Restigouche River Lodge's Englands Pool earlier this week, June 23.

Kevin McDevitt releases a magnificent 32 lb. Atlantic salmon at the Restigouche River Lodge’s Englands Pool earlier this week, June 23.


Everyone seems to be out on the river! However anecdotal reports are giving increasing numbers of large salmon are being angled and released. Rudy Bussoli of Glen Eden Salmon Lodge reported on Wednesday that his head guide was reporting a significant uptick in numbers in the previous several days.


Southwest Miramichi – Official numbers at the Dungarvon Barrier are reflecting the continued slow returns this year. In the week between June 16 an June 22 an additional  grilse and seven large salmon were counted, bringing the season’s total (as of June 22) to three grilse and 11 large salmon. This continues far lower than 2013’s totals of 18 grilse and 35 large salmon.

Northwest Miramichi – So far at the barrier there have been no grilse and two large salmon counted up to June 22, while in 2013 the figure was two grilse and nine large salmon. Some anglers, however, are reporting success. One recent report had six anglers catching seven salmon on the NW Miramichi.


The returns continue to be slow and low. The Penobscot at the new Milford Dam Fish Lift has seen (to June 22) only 65 large salmon and six grilse, very low numbers indeed.

Elsewhere, returns are in the single digits, with the latest numbers reported being:

  • seven on the Kennebec (to June 20)
  • three on the Saco (to June 16)
  • single salmon for each of the Narraguagus, Pleasant, Androscoggin and Union rivers


Angler Martin Heitmann had this to say on Tuesday, June 24:

“Here in Norway the Salmon season has just started in most rivers. I have managed two salmon in River Malselv, 9.0 and 9.6 kg.

Alta is still in flood with a horrible weather and not wary many fish so far. I got blank. Some big fish were taken on spinning heavy spoons.

The rivers of mid-Norway are fishing poorly so far.”
Martin Heitmann

He also notes sea-lice numbers remain high in Norwegian waters.

Alta River, Norway (image: wikipedia)

Alta River, Norway (image: wikipedia)


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One Response to In Gaspé They are Coming In

  1. Ronald Bujold says:

    I and a number of fishermen fishing the mouth of the Restigouche River
    are very concerned by the low number of salmon observed in the Tide Head
    To date only about 10 large fish have been released and not one grisle has been

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