COSEWIC status:Not at Risk
SARA status:No status
Eagle River, Flowers River, Naskaupi River, Pinware River, Sand Hill River
The Labrador population is comprised of 91 known salmon rivers and dozens of additional tributaries and streams that contain salmon. Geographically, this population stretches from the Napetipi River in Quebec to the Fraser River near the Labrador community of Nain. Following a moratorium on commercial netting in 1998, and the eventual closure of all Canadian commercial salmon fisheries in 2000, the abundance of wild Atlantic salmon in the Labrador population increased dramatically. Labrador remains one of the healthiest wild Atlantic salmon populations in the world.
Active recreational and aboriginal fisheries target salmon from the Labrador population. Additionally, a resident trout fishery routinely takes Atlantic salmon as by-catch. In 2018, DFO estimated a total aboriginal and subsistence harvest in Labrador of 12,458 grilse and large salmon. The recreational fishery for the entire province of Newfoundland and Labrador harvested 13,626 grilse in 2018, a portion coming from the Labrador population. Anglers must release all large salmon.
Current Population Status:
In 2008, COSEWIC estimated the Labrador population consisted of 235,874 mature Atlantic salmon, a 308 per cent increase compared to 1993. There are currently four monitored rivers in the population area, most suffering declines in 2016 and 2017. The English River achieved it’s egg conservation limit (237%) in 2018, as did the Muddy Bay Brook (132%). The other two monitored rivers, Southwest Brook and Sand Hill, reached 77 and 95 per cent of the minimum conservation level, respectively.
DFO: Stock Assessment of Newfoundland and Labrador Atlantic Salmon – 2018
COSEWIC Assessment and Status Report on the Atlantic Salmon in Canada