ASF RiverNotes - August 23

Aug 23, 2018
Shorter days and longer nights on salmon rivers. The Upsalquitch River in early September. Nathan Wilbur/ASF


Now that the end of August is in sight, the nights are getting longer, and for anyone staying on a wilderness river that hosts Atlantic salmon, those late August and September skies can be very dark. For some, it will be the darkest sky they will experience during the entire year.

The salmon are certainly the main draw, but that that dark sky at night can enhance that experience. Perhaps taking a half hour to explore the sky will enhance the whole salmon river experience.

If this might interest you, there are several excellent apps you might add to your smartphone to help you navigate the sky as elegantly as you navigate the river below. In that dark sky there are not just constellations and star groups, but with the dark conditions even some of the deep sky treasures can be seen, either just with your eyes or with binoculars. Items like the Andromeda galaxy, and the globular cluster M4. Things you may have never seen before.

My favourite app is SkySafari plus. It costs about $13 but has enough bells and whistles for anyone who wants to enjoy the night sky. It has features such as being able to point at a place in the night sky, and the display shifts to show that very segment of the cosmos.

It even has a button to push to turn everything red to help keep the pupils in your eyes larger. Pretty slick. The app also has an incredible array of adjustments possible - the maximum magnitude for stars, how many names show up, details on stars, planets and deep sky objects. It isn't hard to learn, as it is very intuitive.
In late August the Milky Way with all its wonders is directly south at 10 pm. The SkySafari Plus app offers red view for night vision. One can change the percentage of star names that show up, decluttering the view on the phone's screen.
Dark skies above, salmon below. Do they see anything of the night sky, and does it register with them? Question to ponder on a calm night.

One final point, there is one constellation I always rename in my own mind. Near the Milky Way is Delphinus, the Dolphin. But to me it is a salmon, leaping above the water and into the sky. It's a personal constellation, or as it is not official, a personal asterism. While waiting for that next Atlantic salmon, enjoy that dark sky. The stars may be blazing brighter than you will see them the rest of the year.
Officially "The Dolphin". Personally, prefer "The Salmon".
Moonrise over the Restigouche on 18 Aug. 2018. Bill Taylor/ASF


Lower North Branch of the Little Southwest Miramichi. Water is finally cooling down. Photo Bill Taylor/ASF
Nathan Wilbur, ASF Director of Programs for New Brunswick notes:

Notice from DFO regarding coldwater pools

This is just to advise you that as per the Miramichi Watershed Warm Water Protocol, the two conditions have been met to reopen 26 cold water salmon pools to salmon angling: The weather forecast predicts daytime air temperature to be moderate during the next 7 days with cooler nightly temperatures AND the fish is moving out of the cold water refuges.

The following three cold water salmon pools will remain closed to fishing until December 31, 2018:

  • Confluence of Sutherland Brook and Northwest Miramichi River, including the waters of Sutherland Brook upstream to the Highway 420;
  • Waters of the Southwest Miramichi River in Quarryville, 300 m upstream and 300 m downstream of the Quarryville Bridge, including Indian Town Brook from its confluence with the Southwest Miramichi River, upstream to Highway 108 bridge;
  • Confluence of Wilson Brook and Southwest Miramichi River, including the waters of Wilson Brook 100 m upstream of its mouth, an area locally known as the Bear Den;

Here is the notice to recreational anglers:

And the variation order listing the many pools now open again:
Brock Curtis of Curtis Miramichi Outfitters notes:


Recent downpours have cooled off and raised the Nashwaak River. Taken Aug. 21. Photo Nathan Wilbur/ASF


The Restigouche has more cold water springs, keeping it somewhat cooler than the Miramichi. But now temperatures really are dropping. This is Indian House on the Restigouche on 18 Aug. Bill Taylor/ASF
Misty morning at Indian House on the Restigouche on 18 Aug. 2018. Bill Taylor/ASF Nashwaak

Nova Scotia

Greg Lovely has the following on the Margaree:

Newfoundland and Labrador

For the first time this summer, DFO has been slow putting up its weekly salmon count numbers. As of 9 am Aug. 23, the last one available is Aug. 12, reported on last week.

Eagle River

A nice grilse being released near Pratt Falls Lodge on the Eagle River in Labrador. Article is coming, likely in the Winter 2018 issue of the Atlantic Salmon Journal. Photo Livia Goodbrand.
Eagle River and Pratt Falls Lodge - Look ahead to the Winter 2018 issue of the Atlantic Salmon Journal for salmon adventures written up by Livia Goodbrand. Photo Livia Goodbrand.

Flowers River

Colin Baxter releasing a beautiful, bright salmon on the Flowers River Aug. 11 with another long time buddy and Flowers guide Rob Solo.

Corner Brook Stream Update

Keith Piercey this past week provided us with an update on the amazing good news story about Corner Brook Stream and its fishway. The run was literally brought back from zero.

This is the tenth year for SPAWN operating the salmon trap on Corner Brook Stream. The small stream flows through the centre of downtown Corner Brook, NL and past the large Kruger newsprint mill, finally entering the Bay of Islands. The stream was blocked by the original dam back in 1925 and until a fishway was installed in the replacement dam salmon were landlocked, eventually mixing with fry placed in the stream that came from the ASF Fish Friends Program. Primary DNA in today’s salmon is inherited from the original land-locked fish!
Corner Brook Stream Atlantic salmon fry. Photo from SPAWN
Despite major replacement of a bridge across the stream this season, the salmon have returned once again in sufficient numbers to meet the spawning requirement of 72 fish. With help of a summer student SPAWN does two checks daily and the weekends are covered off by Board Members.

That number, recorded last year, is the lowest number recorded in nine years of monitoring. This year, up to August 15th the count stood at 101. The attached chart shows the counts since recording the migration. The wooden trap was built by staff from DFO in Central NL and is due to be replaced. Given the Glynmill Pond, where the fishway is located, goes through great fluctuations during the summer and is the water supply for the mill, there are times when the Pond must be drained or the level lowered for maintenance. At all times we have had total cooperation from Kruger who ensures we are notified of changes and assists in any way they can.
There have been 101 salmon as of Aug. 15 in 2018 returning to Corner Brook Stream.


Charles Cusson, ASF's Director of Programs for Quebec, says:

Darlene Sexton of the Cascapedia River Society writes:
Release at Charlie Valley Rock on the Cascapedia, taken a few years ago. Photo Elaine Jewett.
Water low, but a bit of hope on 23 Aug.
Atlantic salmon passing up the Matane Fishway; a facility that offers viewing of the fish underwater.
Beautiful Atlantic salmon being released on the Nabisipi River. Martin Silverstone/ASF

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