ASF RiverNotes 29 Aug 2019

Aug 29, 2019

Newfoundland and Labrador

A few comments coming the way of Don Ivany, ASF Director for Newfoundland and Labrador Programs:

From Ken McLean:

Returning from the Gander on Friday I checked a sea trout location on the Terra Nova near Glovertown. There was one angler fishing and as he came ashore to have a chat discovered a large dead jack salmon on the rivers edge. This is the first dead salmon I have seen in this section of the river and I don't think it is a coincidence that this occurred the first year that DFO introduced warm water protocols.

Twenty C. is too high a trigger point. I've never seen so many sea trout anglers on the river this time of year, as under the old warm water protocol the river was closed at 18 C. but now that it is twenty and not being enforced, sea trout anglers will hook the odd salmon in this area.

I also suspect that salmon spawn in this area as they are present well after the end of the season and there is excellent spawning gravel on one side of the river. Need to return to the old 18deg trigger point and have it enforced.

From Paul White:

This weekend, I called in a tip to a river guardian about a pool full of salmon in low water. I was told by the guardian, and a few others, that all NL guardians are laid off Sept 5! The season is not even over I do not need to tell you about the potential for poaching in September and October with no one on the rivers and the salmon gathered up in their spawning grounds.

This guardian told me of several rivers FULL of salmon on the Avalon peninsula and in central that they are currently watching. Now there will be no enforcement.

I think calls have got to go to open line shows asking the federal fisheries minister: why are these professionals being laid off at such a vulnerable time?

This is NOT GOOD ENOUGH in the International Year of the wild Salmon, or in any year. And it won't take many dollars to keep these ambassadors of our inland resources on for another two months. Maybe $1M or $2M  max...maybe not even that much.

The VALUE of the salmon resource far exceeds keeping the 100 river guardians employed until the end of October or into early November.

The Guardians are not happy, and we should not be as well.

Poachers in the rural communities are well aware of the Sept 5 date as well.

We need to make some noise!


The counting fence numbers are up today (Aug. 28) after no apparent update since Aug. 11. See below
Aug. 25 counts in rivers on the island of Newfoundland.

In Labrador, with all numbers to Aug. 25:

English River has 307, vs 576 last year
Sand Hill River has 1,906 vs 4,094 in 2018
Muddy Bay Brook has 256 vs 302
Paradise River has 77 vs. 258. (Count was to previous week

Looks as if numbers are generally down. Some have questioned the Sand Hill numbers this year. Hopefully full assessments by end of year will help throw light on the actual numbers.
Signs old and new to protect the rivers in Newfoundland. Don Ivany/ASF

Nova Scotia

Webcam on the Margaree. The water has come up in recent days, and may go higher with the upcoming tropical storm. Photo from Webcam of Margaree Salmon Association.
Check out the webcam of the Margaree Salmon Association:
A section of riverbank on the South River, Antigonish is getting a great makeover to reduce erosion into the water. Photo Nick MacInnes

New Brunswick

The big news is the discovery of a live smallmouth bass in the main part of the Southwest Miramichi River. 

For an excellent overview of how this major issue for Atlantic salmon came about, and what can be done, read this blogpost.

In July 2017, DFO technicians removed the 6,000th smallmouth bass from Miramichi Lake, one of the young-of-the-year in this ziplock bag. Photo Neville Crabbe/ASF
It is the end of summer, and fortunately the cool nights are helping cool the river water.

Brock Curtis, of Curtis Miramichi Outfitters:

I spent some time on the Cains river this past weekend. We watched a guy hook a grilse downstream from us. Other stories of anglers hooking the odd salmon are coming in. They are seeing lots of salmon around the brooks and cold water pools. We still need rain. Rivers are low and a good rain would really help. It has really cooled down since last week, especially the evenings.

Early signs of Fall are starting to show along the rivers and brooks. We saw quite a few maple trees already showing signs of red leaves. I mentioned in earlier reports of the geese molting and not flying. They have completed that phase for the season and are now taking flight.

The forecast is showing small amounts of rain later in the week. We will take whatever we can get.

In actuality, the forecast now includes more rain than anticipated, from a passing tropical storm. We shall see.

Counting Fence Data

Numbers to Aug. 25 are just in:

For the Northwest Miramichi Barrier, 123 grilse  and 49 large salmon, compared with 2018 numbers of 70 grilse and 100 large salmon.

For the Dungarvon Barrier, that helps assess the Southwest Miramichi, 81 grilse and 68 large salmon, compared with 76 grilse and 58 large salmon in 2018


Work is proceeding well on Head Tide Dam on the Sheepscot River. It will improve fish passage significantly, and give this river a fighting chance at restoration of native fish, including Atlantic salmon. Photo Maranda Nemeth.

The Final Word

Guide David Adams watches as Robert Heft bows to the King of Fish on the Whitehouse Pool, York River on June 28. Photo Credit: Nathaniel Meyer-Heft

More Posts