ASF’s research team seeks answers to the most pressing questions about wild Atlantic salmon to inform our advocacy and conservation programs. We work with partners on almost every project, and always try to bridge the gap between knowledge and conservation action.


ASF is a founding member of the Atlantic Salmon Research Joint Venture. We serve on the Working Group on North Atlantic Salmon, part of the International Council for the Exploration of the Seas. We also work with university students and researchers around the world by providing funding and supporting grant applications.


If you’re interested in partnering with ASF on Atlantic salmon focused research, please email

Marine Tracking

One of the greatest threats to wild Atlantic salmon is high marine mortality. In the early 1990s, at the same time cod and tuna stocks collapsed, ocean survival rates for Atlantic salmon dropped significantly.


Determining why so many salmon are dying during the ocean phase of their life requires following them as they leave home rivers and swim to the Labrador Sea and the Greenland coast.


In 2003, we started using acoustic tags on juvenile and adult Atlantic salmon. When it became technically possible, we began deploying satellite-connected tags as well. Over two decades, we have built the longest time series of Atlantic salmon migration data in the world.


Our data informs fishery management and resource development decisions. It also provides insight on how wild Atlantic salmon are likely to respond to warming oceans.


Today we track salmon leaving fours rivers that empty into the Gulf of St. Lawrence. We have also partnered with Fisheries and Oceans Canada, the United States National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and local fishermen to tag and track adult Atlantic salmon at Greenland and follow the homeward leg of their migration.

Freshwater Research

Rivers and streams are where humans can have the greatest positive effect on wild Atlantic salmon populations. Ensuring the freshwater environment is healthy and productive means more juvenile Atlantic salmon leaving for the sea, and more returning to spawn.


ASF’s research team plays an important role in our freshwater conservation programs, Headwaters and Wild Salmon Watersheds. Our goal is to design river-specific population assessment plans and monitor the effects of habitat restoration and improvement projects.


By providing ASF’s program staff and partners with feedback, our research team helps ensure we are selecting impactful projects and using our resources wisely.

Aquaculture Interactions

Open net pen salmon aquaculture has severe negative effects on nearby wild Atlantic salmon populations. For example, Aquaculture Atlantic salmon routinely escape from their enclosures and interbreeding with wild Atlantic, producing offspring that are less fit and contributing to population collapse.


Since 1992 ASF has operated the fishway at the St. George Power hydroelectric dam on the Magaguadavic River in New Brunswick. The river empties into the Bay of Fundy near a significant concentration of open net-pen salmon aquaculture sites.


Every year escapes are caught in the fishway and reported to regulators and industry. It is one of the only continuously monitored sites for aquaculture escapes in Atlantic Canada, alerting ASF and our partners when an escape has occurred.


It has also provided remarkable insight on the health of aquaculture salmon compared to wild fish. Monitoring wild and aquaculture salmon interactions on the Magaguadavic is ASF’s longest running research program.

Meet our leaders - Jonathan Carr

Jonathan Carr is the Senior Scientist at the Atlantic Salmon Federation, located in St. Andrews, New Brunswick, Canada. He has more than 30 years of research experience in the management, restoration and conservation of wild fish, including endangered and threatened populations.  Jonathan has been published widely and has served in several capacities related to fisheries research and policy. Much of his research has focused on the marine ecology and behavior of Atlantic salmon, fish passage at hydro dams, impacts of exotic species, stock assessment, and interactions between wild and escaped farmed salmon.

Thank you to our partners!

Every project that the ASF research team work on involves partners. We solve problems together and share the same goal; healthy wild Atlantic salmon populations and clean, free-flowing rivers for generations to come.


We have partnered broadly from river specific to international scales with First Nations, academia, NGOs, watershed stakeholders, industries, and governments.

Peer Reviewed Articles

Daniels, J., Chaput, G., Carr, J. Can J. 2018. Estimating consumption rate of Atlantic salmon smolts (Salmo salar) by striped bass (Morone saxatilis) in the Miramichi River estuary using acoustic telemetry. Fish.Aquat.Sci 75:1811-1822.

Chaput, G., Carr, J., Daniels, J., Tinker, S., Jonsen, I., Whoriskey, F. 2018. Atlantic Salmon (Salmo salar) smolt and early post-smolt migration and survival inferred from multi-year and multi-stock acoustic telemetry studies in the Gulf of St. Lawrence northwest Atlantic. ICES Journal of Marine Science, doi:10.193/icesjms/fsy156.

Brunsdon, E., Daniels, J., Hanke, A., and Carr, J. 2019. Tag retention and survival of Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) smolts surgically implanted with dummy acoustic transmitters during the transition from fresh to salt water. – ICES Journal of Marine Science, doi:10.193/icesjms/fsz139, 10 pp.

Daniels, J., Sutton, S., Webber, D., and Carr, J. 2019. Extent of predation bias present in migration survival and timing of Atlantic salmon smolt (Salmo salar) as suggested by a novel acoustic tag. Anim Biotelemetry 7/16 (2019) doi:10.1186/s40317-019-0178-2, 11 pp.

Strom, J., Campana, S., Righton, D., Carr, J., Aarestrup, K., Stokesbury, M., Gargan, P., Javierr and Thorstad, E. 2019. Ocean Predation and Mortality of Adult Atlantic Salmon. Scientific Reports 9. No.1 (December 2019): 7890.

Roloson, S.D., Landsman, S., Tana, R., Hicks., Carr, J, Whoriskey, F., and VanDen Heuvel, M.R.  2020 “Otolith Microchemistry and Acoustic Telemetry Revel Anadromy in Non-Native Rainbow Trout (Oncorhynchus Mykiss) in Prince Edward Island, Canada. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and aquatic Sciences 77, no.7 (July 2020): 1117-30.

Teffer, Amy K., Carr, J., Tabata, A., Schulze, A., Bradbury, I., Deschamps, D., Gillis, C.A., Brunsdon, E.B., Mordecai, G., and Miller, K.M. 2020. A Molecular Assessment of Infectious Agents Carried by Atlantic Salmon at Sea and in Three Eastern Canadian Rivers, Including Aquaculture Escapees and North American and European Origin Wild Stocks. FACETS 5, no. 1 (January 1, 2020): 234-63.

Carr, J., Kocik, J., and Edwards, P. 2020. Report of the Telemetry and Atlantic Salon Workshop: Next Steps from Estuary to the North Atlantic Ocean.  Canadian Manuscript Report of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences + 25p.

Quinn B., Trudel M., Wilson B., Carr J., Daniels J., Haigh S., Hardie D., Hawkes J., McKindsey C., O’Flaherty-Sproul M., Simard É., and Page F. 2021.Modelling the effects of currents and migratory behaviours on the dispersal of Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) post-smolts in a coastal embayment. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences. 79(12): 2087-2111.

Daniels, J., Brunsdon, E.B., Chaput, G., Dixon H. J., Labadie H., Carr J. 2021.Quantifying the effects of post-surgery recovery time on the migration dynamics and survival rates in the wild of acoustically tagged Atlantic Salmon Salmo salar smolts. 2021. Animal Biotelemetry 9, 6

For a complete list of our published research and technical reports, click here.