ASF RiverNotes 13 May 2019

May 13, 2019
Making that connection between a new generation on the river and an Atlantic salmon. Photo Dawson Hovey
2019 is the International Year of the Salmon and ASF is running a photo contest open to the public. We're looking for images that tell the story of the enduring connection between people and salmon. 

It could be a leaping fish, an underwater shot, the perfect release, or simply people at dusk admiring the beauty of a wild river. Use your imagination.  

The Rules of the Photo Contest

Winners will be selected by a panel of judges and published in the Atlantic Salmon Journal. Deadline for entries is Oct. 15, 2019.

– Please include the photographer’s name and contact information.

Individuals may enter up to six photos.

By entering this contest you are giving ASF permission to use your photos without fee in our publications, blogs, websites, social media and promotional materials.
Wherever possible, the photographer will be credited.


Grand Prize: $500 gift certificate to Patagonia Halifax
1st runner up: ASF swag bag (hat, toque & socks in a dry bag)
2nd runner up: ASF River Roast coffee & mugs

Youth recognition: 
All entries qualify for the grand prize, but two youth entrants
(14 and younger) will be selected to receive one of two deluxe field vests. Please state your age when entering submissions to the youth category.

Nova Scotia

The Northeast Margaree River was running high, on May 6. Photo Greg Lovely
Greg Lovely, concerning the Margaree:

Although we have not had rain in the Margaree for awhile, the abundant melting snow in the Highlands is keeping the river quite high.

For the first time in a generation the Margaree river is getting a smoltwheel. Some dandy brook and brown trout are still being hooked daily down in the tidal waters of the river.
DFO staff getting ready to put the smolt wheel in the Margaree last week. Photo Greg Lovely
The smoltwheel on the St. Mary's River was put in the river on May 10. Photo Kris Hunter
The smoltwheel on the west branch of the St. Mary's River. At one time the St. Mary's had a very healthy population of Atlantic salmon, and there is strong interest in rebuilding it. Photo Kris Hunter

New Brunswick

The Cains River on 3 May, 2019 with perfect spring fishing conditions. Photo Nathan Wilbur/ASF

Brock Curtis
noted late last week:

Early signs of Spring are noticeable along the river. The buds are starting to show on the trees and the grass is turning green. River levels are much lower and we have a shoreline to bring boats in or walk along now.

The latter part of last week was really good salmon fishing. I know of quite a few comments of anglers catching 75 plus salmon at their camp. It has slowed down quite a bit and trout seems to be popular. A lot of the guys are picking up good sized trout this week while fishing salmon. There are still salmon around and there will be for awhile yet.

For those who are inclined to change their gear they will hook into a few salmon for a while. It is more of a challenge though. The striped bass fishing was also quite good last weekend and a lot of the guys were coming into the area for them.

Lots of rain in the forecast and we still have snow in the woods keeping the water temperatures cold.
The Cains River is a great place to spend time and and reconnect with nature. Photo Nathan Wilbur/ASF

David LeBlanc
of the Restigouche River Watershed Management Council notes:

The river is still high but we have not had the peak flow conditions that were experienced in other recent years, and that is a good thing. 

However, the conditions have not been good for  black salmon fishing as the river levels have been fluctuating fairly rapidly, and the water is a bit muddy.

The Restigouche River on 5 May, 2019. Still early but no massive high flows. Nathan Wilbur/ASF
David LeBlanc also notes some of the projects they are involved with this year:

Taking out beaver dams that obstruct Atlantic salmon migration to spawning areas

Log jam cleanup

Maintenance of the Crown Reserve infrastructure in the Restigouche watershed

Working with DFO to  develop Warm Water Protocols for the Restigouche watershed
Upsalquitch River with higher flows on 4 May. 2019, but with levels dropping. Nathan Wilbur/ASF
At Larry's Gulch on the Restigouche there was still ice on the bank last week, but it is clearing out. Jacques Heroux


Smolt wheel deployed on the East Machias River. Photo Zach Sheller/Downeast Salmon Federation
East Machias

The Downeast Salmon Federation has deployed a smoltwheel on the East Machias River to assess the outgoing Atlantic salmon. To see their progress visit:

Zach Sheller of the Downeast Salmon Federation was noting on Monday that water temperatures are still cold, and the smolt run is perhaps a little delayed.


Jason Valliere, Scientist with the Maine  Department of Marine Resources says:

Just wanted to let everyone know Milford fishway was opened for operation on May 3rd.

Flows are still high and the water is still cold. Thus far we have passed one white sucker.  He added on Monday that water temperature was still 10 C.

As flows continue to drop and the water warms, things will pick up. If previous patterns hold true we expect to see our first river herring by the end of the week and should see Atlantic salmon in 10-14 days.

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