Aerial views of the Petite Cascapédia | Photo: Mathieu Leonard
Warm weather conditions persist in many regions. While New Brunswick had an unseasonably wet August, anglers in other areas await much needed precipitation to fill the rivers for the conclusion of salmon season.
Fortunately, low water levels can be welcome to river restoration crews. Our affiliates are making the most of easy riverbed access and have a number of exciting projects on the go.
As Autumn approaches, please remember to tag @asf_salmon on social media in your conservation efforts and angling adventures. We love hearing from our members, so when you have a story to share, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you for your continued support and enthusiasm for Atlantic salmon conservation.
Charles Cusson, Directeur québécois écrit:
Alors que nous commençons le dernier mois de la saison 2022, les conditions d’eaux basses et des températures d’eau élevée ont affecté le succès de pêche sportive en août sur plusieurs rivières. Les tableaux ci-bas vous donneront un aperçu des statistiques à la fin août pendant les dernières saisons.
Cliquez ici pour voir les tableaux...
Veuillez prendre note que la remise à l’eau des saumons est obligatoire sur certaines rivières à partir du 1er septembre.
Les conditions d'eau plus chaude étant la norme en ce moment, veuillez svp réduire au minimum la durée du combat si vous piquez un saumon et veuillez les garder le poisson dans l'eau pendant tout le processus de la remise à l’eau. Il n'y a pas de temps prédéfini pour relâcher un poisson, il vous indiquera quand il est prêt à partir.
Rappel aux saumoniers pêchant les rivières du Québec, prenez le temps de rapporter vos prises et remise à l’eau afin d’avoir des statistiques précises et que les gestionnaires de rivière puissent calculer le succès de pêche avec précision. Tight Lines!
Les données utilisées dans ce rapport proviennent de divers sites web, des médias sociaux et de source gouvernementale québécois. Les informations peuvent changer sans avis au préalable en ce qui concerne les comparatifs des saisons précédentes.
Allen Richards gracie une belle pièce a la fosse Fraser sur la Cascapédia | Photo: Reggie McWhirter | Allen Richards releases a salmon at Fraser Pool on the Cascapédia.
Un saumon de la Rivière Dartmouth se mérite un salut | Photo: Andy Crews | Bowing to a fish at Big Salmon Hole on the Dartmouth 2
Charles Cusson, Director of Quebec Programs, shares:
As we begin the last month of the 2022 season, low water conditions were a major factor affecting angling success during the month of August on many rivers.
The attached tables display statistics up to and including late August 2022, and for the previous four seasons for comparison.
Click here to view tables...
We would like to remind anglers fishing Quebec rivers to make the time to report your releases. This contributes to us having the most accurate angling statistics and allows the river managers to accurately calculate angling success.
With warmer water conditions being the norm, please keep the amount of time your fish is on the line to a minimum (if you can hook up) and please keep them in the water during the entire release process. There is no pre-set amount of time prescribed to revive a fish, it will tell you when it is ready to go.
Please be aware, mandatory live release of salmon is in effect on many rivers as of September 1st. Tight Lines!
Note: The data used for Quebec RiverNotes has been sourced from various river websites, social media and Quebec government sources. Information may change without prior notification respecting past year’s comparative figures.
Des torpilles au repos dans la fosse Bluff de Rivière Saint Jean Gaspé | Photo: Nathalie Mongeau | Wild salmon holding at Bluff Pool, Saint Jean River, Gaspé
Mathieu Leonard and partner, Marie-Renée recently visited the Petite Cascapédia and Bonaventure rivers. Mathieu highlights:
Despite the low water levels of this mid-season, the Petite Cascapédia and Bonaventure remain cold as they are mountain sourced. We wrapped up our summer season with a trip to these two rivers and were fortunate to connect with some beautiful fish.
Marie-Renée got some action on the Petite Cascapédia, to the benefit of Logan (pictured below) who was ready for the netting job. A special moment landing and releasing this Atlantic together as a family. The fall colours of the fish are coming to life as their morphology slowly changes with the colder temperatures taking over the Gaspé Peninsula.
Follow Mathieu Leonard on Instagram @premiere_drop
Logan excitedly prepares to net his Mother's Atlantic | Photo: Mathieu Leonard
Releasing an autumnal toned Bonaventure beauty | Photo: Mathieu Leonard
Newfoundland & Labrador
From the desk of Don Ivany, NL Program Director
With the regular angling season on the Island of Newfoundland due to close on Sept 7th, and Sept 15th in Labrador, anglers far and wide are praying for heavy rains and cold temperatures, to salvage the remainder of the season before hanging up their rods for the year.
Unfortunately, light rain showers this past week did little, if anything, to increase water levels throughout NL. And while night-time temperatures are slowly starting to cool, the continuation of hot weather during the day has kept water temperatures warm. As a result, angling conditions have been poor throughout over the past week (with a few exceptions in Northern Labrador) and as a result, fishing has been slow. This has led DFO to restrict more rivers on the island to early morning fishing only.
See the latest DFO River Openings and Closures for NL.
There is good news in the forecast, with rainfall expected for much of next week. Hopefully this will improve conditions so that anglers may close out the regular season on a positive note. In the meantime, the fall angling season on the main stems of the ‘Big Three Rivers’ — the Humber, Gander, and Exploits, will continue until October 7th for release fishing only
Lastly, the latest DFO Fishway Counts for Newfoundland and Labrador (up to Aug 28, 2022) are now available.
See the latest DFO Fishway Counts for NL.
As you will note from the table, this will be the last count for the season for a few rivers identified by the following symbol: **.
Southwestern NL – A couple of days of light rain last week rose water levels slightly on a few rivers in this area including Southwest River and Harry’s Rivers, but due to continued hot and dry weather that followed the levels quickly dropped again. As such, angling conditions remain poor in this area of the province and fishing is still very slow.
Western NL – While water levels are still fairly good for angling on the lower Humber, water temperature on this section of the river is now an issue, with temperatures averaging around 18 degrees daily. As a result, fishing is currently very slow in this area, with only an odd fish hooked. Meanwhile, conditions are worse on the upper Humber where the water level is very low and day-time water temperature averages between 20-22 degrees Celsius.
Main River (Sops Arm) saw a slight bump in water level last week, but it quickly dropped and is low again. Water temperatures on Main River have dropped from an average of 21.0 degrees Celsius daily to 15.5 degrees daily. There are few fish being seen in the lower sections of the river, as most fish have now reached the headwaters.
Labrador – Long-time guide, Lester Butt, reports that there was a good sign of fish on the Forteau River last week, as there has been all summer. An odd fish is still being hooked despite fair angling conditions. Rob French, owner of the Bigland Salmon Lodge on the Pinware River, reports that there was hardly any fish on the lower section of this river last week and the river was low and warm.
Further North, Tony Chubbs, with the Labrador Hunting and Fishing Association, provided the following update from the Kenamu River near Goose Bay:
"11th of August - Lowest water seen. Air temp 23-26C and water temp 16C. Fishing best this season. 3 Rods. Hooked our limits (2 large). Over 30 fish seen.
19th of August - Rained all day. Air Temp 18-20C. Water up about six inches from our previous trip on 11 August. Water temperature cool and estimated at 15C. We have been getting some thunderstorms and rain. Good fish activity. 6 fish hooked between three rods. About 15 fish seen. Most fish hooked are jacks.
22nd of August - Water up again another couple of inches with thunder showers during the day. Air temp 24C in afternoon. Estimated water temperature at 14C. Four rods fishing and 7 fish hooked, with about 20 fish (1 large) seen. Mostly grilse jacks.
We have not seen any other anglers fishing our section of the river this year."
Central NL – All rivers here remain very low with warm water temperatures. As of August 31st, DFO restricted angling on the Terra Nova to morning fishing only due to low water levels and warm water temperatures.
Angler, Trevor King, reports there is still a good show of fish on the Lower Gander, but the water is very low and warm, and fish just aren’t interested. Matthew Morgan notes fishing has also slowed on the Exploits River, but an odd fish is still being hooked there.
Avalon Peninsula – Water levels are low and water temperatures warm on most rivers, yet the odd fish is still being hooked here and there.
In the Field
From August 15-18 we worked in the Northern Peninsula taking up and resetting some of our tracking gear within the Strait of Belle Isle. The following images were captured during this work.
Don Ivany uses a VR-100 sounding device to locate and release one of ASF’s VR2AR tracking receivers from the ocean floor in the Strait of Belle Isle.
Don Ivany and Kirb Mitchelmore scan the ocean surface for floats attached to tracking receivers, adjacent to the community of Lance au Loup in Southern Labrador.
Don Ivany and Kirb Mitchelmore examine one of the ASF’s tracking receivers removed recently from the Strait of Belle Isle.
Kirb Mitchelmore and Loomis Way pull up ASF tracking receivers from the Strait of Belle Isle, near a land formation know as the Battery — close to the community of Lance au Loup in Southern Labrador.
Captain Loomis Way listens to a VR-100 sounding device as it searches to locate and release an ASF receiver from the ocean floor in the Strait of Belle Isle, as Kirb Mitchelmore prepares for the receiver to come to the surface.
Sometimes an unexpected visitor or two will drop by to see what the team is doing, such as this small mammal known locally as a 'squid hound'. Kirb Mitchelmore admires the dolphin.
Although temperatures are cooling in the evening, daytime air and water temperatures remain warm. ASF along with the Nova Scotia Salmon Association (NSSA), Margaree Salmon Association (MSA) and the Unama'ki Institute of Natural Resources (UINR) have been active participants in DFO's weekly Warm Water Protocol meetings for the Margaree River.
At this time, two sections of the Margaree River remain closed: See DFO Variation Order
Save the Date!
Cape Breton Island
The Margaree Salmon Association (MSA) invites you to join them at the upcoming Celtic Colours event on October 12th, 2022 for their Learn to Fly Fish day. For more information see celtic-colours.com or contact Bill Haley at email@example.com or via phone: 902-258-5684.
Mainland Nova Scotia
Join the Antigonish Rivers Association (ARA) for their upcoming Atlantic salmon Dinner & Auction on October 1st, 2022. For ticket purchase, please call Dana Donovan at 902-631-3127. We look forward to seeing you there!
In the Field
Greg Lovely of the Margaree Salmon Association (MSA) shares:
Kathryn Smith, a 3rd year PhD candidate from Dalhousie University, joined MSA's Watershed Management Coordinator, Aaron Allen, Paul MacNeil and myself for three days of thermal imaging drone work on the Margaree River. The survey began at the confluence of the Forest Glen Brook and the Margaree in the sanctuary. With three batteries and a "line of sight requirement", we slowly worked our way down river. The drone had to be kept still on many occasions as a variety of birds curiously flew in and around to check it out.
Live feed of thermal variations allowed us to highlight cold water refugia on roughly 38 kilometers of river. Kathryn is working with other rivers involved in the Nova Scotia Salmon Associations (NSSA) Gulf Priority Rivers Project however, we are hopeful to have her back in the future to survey the Southwest branch of the Margaree river, up to Lake Ainsley. After Kathryn has "stitched together" the information from this thermal imaging drone work, we will have valuable data that can be used to help us plan for future habitat remediation.
MSA's habitat remediation crew and the Unama'ki Institute of Natural Resources (UINR) intern team hard at work in the field.
The Nova Scotia Salmon Association (NSSA) recently released their monthly newsletter.
Click HERE to read the August 2022 newsletter.
You can join the NSSA for free at nssalmon.ca/join today!
Gulf Rivers Project Tour | Photo: NSSA
Have your say!
Nova Scotia is reviewing its aquaculture regulations, and the government is seeking input from Nova Scotians through a public consultation survey. The deadline to share your comments is September 6th, 2022.
Please take a few moments to complete the online survey at novascotia.ca
You may also wish to visit the Healthy Bays Network website for a comprehensive list of survey questions and sample responses.
With fish farm expansions unfolding throughout Atlantic Canada, it is critical that we share our concerns with government today. Please visit the links supplied, educate yourself and share the deadline of September 6th amongst your network.
Due to cooler temperatures and improved conditions, 29 pools within the Miramichi river watershed were reopened on August 27th, 2022. You may refer to DFO's Notice: Reopening of angling on the Miramichi River system.
The following barrier reports were released again this week by the Dept. of Natural Resources & Energy Development. In addition, we have included reports for the same week in 2011 to highlight the obvious decrease in salmonid survival.
The numbers seen here are in stark contrast to improved counts within other regions. Many have noted the parallel to an increased presence of striped bass within the watershed and echoing this, ASF's smolt tracking has shown significant striped bass predation in recent years.
2022 | Northwest Miramichi
2011 | Northwest Miramichi
2022 | Dungarvon
2011 | Dungarvon
DFO has released the latest trap numbers for our review.
Earlier this week, DNR shared an updated barrier report for Jacquet River that shows the number of salmon reaching the fence have doubled over last year.
In the Field
The Miramichi Salmon Association has been hard at work. President, Robyn McCallum provided a comprehensive update of their recent activities on Facebook earlier this week: MSA Update.
Women's Fishing Retreat
Andrew Clarke is hosting a 3-day women's fly fishing retreat from September 30th to October 2nd. To learn more, follow Andrew on Facebook or visit his website at getbacktoyouretreat.ca
Earlier this week, DMR's Colby Bruchs shared the following details respecting the Downeast adult salmon trap:
Water temperatures cooled to around 22C last week. Operation of the fishway trap resumed. No new salmon have been captured to date.
Exciting activities are occurring upriver on the Narraguagus. We began our annual juvenile abundance assessment and parr brood stock collection effort via backpack electrofishing. We also performed fish relocation at Project SHARE’s Route 9 Habitat Restoration site. Nearly 600 large parr were relocated prior to construction of Engineered Log Jams (ELJs).
The project aims to improve degraded rearing habitat by reducing over-widening through construction of ELJ's and a new floodplain, providing deeper pools for summer and overwinter refuge, and creating geomorphic conditions that promote mobilization and sorting of sediments to benefit all life stages of Atlantic salmon.
If you find yourself along Route 9 this fall, the site is easily observed off the East Beddington Lake Road — just a couple hundred yards south of Route 9.
Congratulations to Project SHARE and their restoration partners for completing this project. A first of it’s kind in designated critical habitat in Maine!
Photos: Maine Dept. of Marine Resources
DMR's Jennifer Noll shared the following salmon updates on August 26th:
Temperatures have still been warm on the mainstem Kennebec throughout most of this past week, averaging around 22°C. Some rain has come through the region bringing the flow level in Sidney, ME to over 6,000cfs, then back down to around 5,730 cfs for the rest of the week. The discharge level is now between the 75% and maximum historic discharge levels (based on 36 years of data). (USGS current conditions).
The fish lift has been fully operating over most of the past week. No Atlantic salmon were captured since the last report.
Craig King provided an update on stock enhancement/beach seine projects from Kennebec and beyond:
As August slips away from us, on the 26th we started our 4th round of beach seining in the tidal portion of the greater Kennebec drainage. This week we finished our 4th round of seining above the head of tide. As in years past, the most recent catches have been significantly reduced, with very few to no river herring or shad at any of the sites due to their determined migration towards the salt water.
Some much needed rain brought the Kennebec flows up, which allowed us to navigate the upper sections with the jet boats which was a welcomed opportunity. Also this week some fishway checks in the Sebasticook drainage resulted in a juvenile sample from Sebasticook lake in Newport. Fifty juvenile alewives were sampled, their average lengths and weights were 90mm and 6 g.