CBC NEWS - NB
Miramichi River sees salmon numbers rebound
Salmon numbers in the river hit a record low in 2014
By Redmond Shannon, CBC News Posted: Aug 05, 2015 12:09 PM AT
Salmon numbers on the Miramichi River appear to be on the rise again this season, following the record-low levels recorded in 2014, according to the latest figures.
Trap and barrier numbers provided by Fisheries and Oceans Canada show a significant jump in salmon counts at both of the monitored trapnets on the Miramichi River.
As of July 31, the number of salmon counted at the Northwest Cassilis trapnet stood at 253, up from 35 to the same date in 2014.
Numbers at the Southwest Millerton trapnet jumped to 340 from 153, which is the highest number recorded since 2012.
The Northwest and Dungarvon protection barriers also saw significant increases to June 30, the most recent date for which data is available.
Dan Bullock from Bullock's Lodge in Boiestown says the rebound is noticeable to him and his customers.
"It's been an excellent year, right from the get-go really in June. We had a fantastic June. July was strong," said Bullock.
"Last year was devastating — I guess you could call it. It was doom and gloom, that's all you heard."
Had the downward trend in salmon numbers continued, Bullock said he would have had to diversify into more canoe and hiking trips.
In 2014, the number of salmon returning to the Miramichi River was fewer than 18,000.
In the first 10 years of this century, about 53,000 salmon returned to the Miramichi annually. In the 1990s, the number returning to spawn was about 82,000.
In April 2015, the federal government mandated that all salmon caught in the Maritimes in 2015 be released back into the water.
The no-retention policy has already been in place on some parts of New Brunswick's Miramichi river system and in Prince Edward Island.