For river flows, this year is turning into the exact opposite of 2011. Last year there was water everywhere; so much that in some rivers like the Cascapedia in Gaspé the fishing didn’t begin until about June 9.
This year there is low water in most rivers from Newfoundland and Quebec’s St. Lawrence North Shore to Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. In rivers like the Moisie (Québec) and the Margaree (Nova Scotia), those who study salmon rivers have been using the low water opportunity to get out and take measurements and GPS readings in the various pools.
The one area that seems to have enough water is central Maine southward, and at least on the Penobscot, they would prefer not to have high volumes this year, with the Great Works Dam at Old Town being removed. Yesterday, June 11, was the very special ceremony to inaugurate the removal of the dam. Everything went extremely well – especially as there had been some apprehension a week before that water levels might not cooperate well for the ceremony. After all, it required heavy equipment tracking out across a newly built roadway in the Penobscot River to the old fishway, which was the first target for demolition. As of end of Monday, 481 Atlantic salmon have returned to Veazie. U.S. Secretary of the Interior Salazar had a chance to watch them being processed on Monday.
Below are a few fish reports
Miramichi – The NW Miramichi barrier so far has not counted a single Atlantic salmon. In 2011 there were eight salmon in by this date. Meanwhile at the Dungarvon barrier, they have had four grilse and three large salmon, far below the 19 grilse and 35 large salmon of 2011. It is likely the low water levels are contributing, but we will have to wait and see how things improve through the season.
Cascapedia – For the first seven days, and without all the camps fishing full force, there were 70 fish caught – and all were released back into the river to continue their journey upstream. Three were in the 30 lb. range. But besides this promising beginning, the call is for badly needed rain.
The low water is affecting the entire province, from Cape Breton to the rivers south of Halifax. A few good storms are definitely called for.