Statement on Environmental Assessment Registration of Smallmouth Bass Eradication Project

Jul 15, 2020
On July 13th the Working Group on Smallmouth Bass Eradication in the Miramichi received notice that our planned invasive species eradication project must be registered for a determination review by New Brunswick’s Department of Environment and Local Government (DELG).

This is welcomed by our groups as a way of building further support for our actions in defence of native ecosystems and biodiversity.

There are three possible outcomes once we submit a registration document to DELG: the project may be released from further study and proceed with conditions, a comprehensive environmental impact assessment may be ordered, or the project may be rejected.

We are confident that the efforts of our Working Group since 2016, which include the preparation of an expert report, the submission of a detailed application to eradicate to Fisheries and Oceans Canada, field work, tests, and an extensive literature review put us in a solid position to complete the registration document promptly and answer all the outstanding questions of the department and public.

Concurrently we are working to conclude the federal review process involving Health Canada, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, and the Canadian Wildlife Service among others. Given this, and the new registration requirement from the province of New Brunswick, the likelihood of eradicating smallmouth bass from the Miramichi watershed in 2020 is small.

Our intention is to continue the vigorous pursuit of all permits and permissions and make a final determination about 2020 once those are in hand. However, the most likely scenario would see Miramichi Lake, Lake Brook, and a section of the Southwest Miramichi River treated with a rotenone product in 2021.

Working with staff at Fisheries and Oceans Canada and New Brunswick's Department of Natural Resources and Energy Development, the Working Group will continue physical controls of smallmouth bass in the Miramichi watershed and the gathering of information to support our eradication project until ice-up this year.

In the coming weeks, once our registration document is complete and submitted to DELG, it will be posted on the department’s website and the public will have an opportunity to review it.

In the meantime, we encourage anyone with questions to contact our Working Group. You can reach Neville Crabbe at (506) 529-1033 or by email at ncrabbe@asf.ca. To learn more about this project, please visit our website: http://www.miramichismallmouth.com

The Working Group on Smallmouth Bass Eradication in the Miramichi was formed in 2016 to counter the threat of illegally introduced fish in the watershed. Our members include the Atlantic Salmon Federation, Maliseet Nation Conservation Council, Miramichi Salmon Association, Miramichi Watershed Management Committee, New Brunswick Salmon Council, New Brunswick Wildlife Federation, and the North Shore Micmac District Council

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