From the Blog

Hot Rivers and Closures

Hot days during the past week have raised water temperatures in rivers from New Brunswick to Newfoundland and Quebec, and day by day more rivers, or sections of river, have been shut down for the good of the Atlantic salmon.

RIVER REPORTS

Quebec

Watshishou Fire

Watshishou Fire

Dry, hot weather is creating dangerous conditions for both salmon and anglers.  But it looks like Mother Nature will help later this week with at least some rain. Forest fires on the North Shore of the St-Lawrence caused catastrophic damage to communities that needed evacuation as well as to the Watchichou Camp on the Watshishou River.  Staff and guests had to evacuate via the ocean and were picked up by the Canadian Coast Guard.

Matapedia River
To July 15, 644 fish had been reported as landed (including 80 releases). On the same day the river was flowing at 24 cubic meters per second.  Badly needed rain is in the forecast for the 19 and 20 in the Lower St-Lawrence. At the same date in 2012, 467 fish had been reported landed (including 41 releases).  The river was flowing at 29 cubic meters per second.

Causapscal River
Another short (May 15 to July 15) season has come to an end. For 2013, 172 fish were landed that included 22 releases.

The previous five year numbers are as follows: releases are included in the total

2012, 129 fish landed – 15 reported releases.
2011, 181 fish landed – 15 reported releases.
2010, 90 fish landed – 8 reported releases.
2009, 107 fish landed – 18 reported releases.
2008, 99 fish landed – 24 reported releases.

Matane River
As a follow-up to last week’s story about illegal logging practices, the July 11 ASF River Notes was forwarded to local and provincial governmental agencies responsible for enforcement of land use regulations.  Both levels know that the Atlantic salmon world will be monitoring what actions are taken to mitigate any damage and also what legal process will be brought to bear to deal with the matter.

As of July 15, 596 fish (516 salmon and 80 grilse) had migrated though the counting facility.  Also to date, 125 fish were reported landed (100 salmon and 25 grilse).

As of July 15 2012, 1,146 fish (701 salmon and 445 grilse) had been counted.

Cascapedia River
Darlene Sexton, manager of the Cascapedia Society is reporting good numbers for the first 11 days of July in spite of very low water conditions.  232 fish were landed (231 salmon released and 1 grilse retained).

Cascapedia Salmon

Cascapedia Salmon

Madeleine River
As of July 11 2013, 842 fish (755 salmon and 87 grilse) have migrated upstream.  At the same date in 2012, 406 fish (344 salmon and 72 grilse), in 2011, 390 (331 salmon and 59 grilse).

Des Escoumins River

Angler below fishway on Les Escoumins, July 2013.

Angler below fishway on Les Escoumins, July 2013.

Only good news continues from this newly free flowing river.  As of July 12, 90 salmon have migrated through the Grand Sault fishway and two salmon were landed and released in Pool 60.  On average, this is three weeks sooner than previous years.  Yves Demers is reporting that the grilse run has begun in earnest and providing good action for local anglers.

Aux Rochers River
To July 11, 333 fish have entered the trap for relocation further upstream.  To date, a total of 149 fish have been landed (125 salmon released, 2 grilse released, 4 salmon retained and 18 retained grilse).

Sainte-Marguerite River
To July 15, 75 fish have been landed (71 salmon released and 43 grilse retained).  At the same date in 2012, 109 fish had been reported landed (106 salmon released and 3 grilse retained).

New Brunswick

Miramichi -The Barrier counts for mid-July are in and they are encouraging.

Southwest Miramichi - Returns as of July 14

Southwest Miramichi – Returns as of July 14

Southwest Miramichi – As of July 14 there were 190 large salmon at the Dungarvon barrier, against 64 last year. Also, there were 159 grilse against 88 in 2012. Certainly these are encouraging numbers in comparison to those of 2012.

 

 

 

Northwest Miramichi - Salmon returns to July 14

Northwest Miramichi – Salmon returns to July 14

Northwest Miramichi – The comparison with 2012 is not as positive as for the SW branch, but still on the positive side, with 164 large salmon to July 14, vs 107 in 2102, and 107 grilse this year, against 66 last year.

Miramichi Closures Due to High Water Temperatures

Yesterday, July 17, many areas with cool springs flowing into the rivers were declared closed. Here is the list –

The following salmon fishing pools will be closed to angling for all species of fish by certain methods, for cause of high water temperature and low water levels. These changes are effective as of Wednesday, July 17, 2013:

  • Confluence of Otter Brook and Cains River, including the waters of Otter Brook 50 m upstream of its mouth. An area locally known as Brophy’s Place;
  • Confluence of Cold Brook and Cains River, including the waters of Cold Brook 50 m upstream of its mouth;
  • Confluence of Salmon Brook and Cains River, including the waters of Salmon Brook upstream from its confluence with the Cains River to South Cains River Road;
  • Confluence of Muzeroll Brook and Cains River, including the waters of Muzeroll Brook 50 m upstream of its mouth;
  • Confluence of Six Mile Brook and Cains River, including the waters of Six Mile Brook 50 m upstream of its mouth;
  • Confluence of Sutherland Brook and Northwest Miramichi River, including the waters of Sutherland Brook upstream to the Highway 420;
  • Confluence of Wildcat Brook and Northwest Miramichi River, including the waters of Wildcat Brook 50 m upstream of its mouth;
  • Confluence of Trout Brook and Northwest Miramichi River, including the waters of Trout Brook 50 m upstream of its mouth;
  • Confluence of Butty’s Brook and Renous River, and the waters of Butty’s Brook from its confluence with the Renous River to South Renous Road, an area locally known as Duffy’s Brook;
  • Waters of the Renous River surrounding the pump house located at N 46.86483, W 65.67698 (WGS 84);
  • 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;
  • Confluence of Gray Rapids Brook and Southwest Miramichi River, including the waters of Gray Rapids upstream from its confluence with the Southwest Miramichi River to Route 118, an area locally known as Pete’s Brook;
  • Confluence of Mersereau Brook and Southwest Miramichi River, including the waters of Mersereau Brook 50 m upstream of its mouth;
  • Confluence of McKenzie Brook and Southwest Miramichi River, including the waters of McKenzie Brook 50 m upstream of its mouth;
  • Confluence of Morse Brook and Southwest Miramichi River, including the waters of Morse Brook upstream from its confluence with the Southwest Miramichi River to Howard Road;
  • Confluence of Black Brook and Southwest Miramichi River, including the waters of Black Brook upstream from its confluence with the Southwest Miramichi River to South Cains River Road;
  • Confluence of Donnelly Brook and Southwest Miramichi River, including the waters of Donnelly Brook upstream from its confluence with the Southwest Miramichi River to the South Road Bridge;
  • Confluence of Betts Mills Brook and Southwest Miramichi River, including the waters of Betts Mills Brook upstream from its confluence with the Southwest Miramichi River to Highway # 8;
  • Confluence of Porcupine Brook and Southwest Miramichi River, including the waters of Porcupine Brook upstream from its confluence with the Southwest Miramichi River to Story Town Road;
  • Confluence of Big Hole Brook and Southwest Miramichi River, including the waters of Big Hole Brook 50 m upstream of its mouth;
  • Confluence of Mill Brook and Southwest Miramichi River, including the waters of Mill Brook 50 m upstream of its mouth.

Please refer to Gulf Variation Order 2013-054 for further details. The Fishery Closures / Variation Orders Registry is available online.

To report any suspicious fishing activity, please contact the nearest Fisheries and Oceans Canada office or to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.

Restigouche – Larry’s Gulch is reporting the fishing is good, with mostly large salmon and few grilse. Water temperatures are 18 or 19 in the mornings, rising to about 21 at mid-day.

David LeBlanc notes that the salmon angling has slowed down, but in general water temperatures are still good. This extensive river system does have a relative abundance of cold springs that provide relief for migrating salmon, and help combat warm atmospheric conditions.

Mactaquac Dam - greatest barrier to upstream and downstream passage on the Saint John River. photo Geoff Giffin/ASF

Mactaquac Dam – greatest barrier to upstream and downstream passage on the Saint John River. photo Geoff Giffin/ASF

Saint John – Returns continue to by critically low at Mactaquac, with 21 large salmon to July 15, vs 81 last year, and the most recent five-year average of 258. For grilse, the 92 this year is a slight improvement over the 66 in 2012, but far below the most recent five-year average of 730. And a fraction of the 1995 to 1999 average of 1,944.

Nashwaak – The large salmon return of 21 to mid-July is even lower than last year’s 28, while the grilse numbers are a bit of an improvement with 34 vs. 8 last year. Anyone reading the numbers also needs to be aware the fence was installed late this year. But with runs overall also later in 2013, it is hard to say if returns are much more than stated.

Footnote on Count Site: DFO has improved their website that reports numbers of Atlantic salmon returns in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. But do remember to press the blue rectangular button after switching between grilse and salmon, as the numbers only refresh after that click. Check it out

Newfoundland

Reports received on Tuesday note that all Northern Peninsula rivers are low, with little angling activity and water temperatures around 16 C. The Torrent has had 1,237 counted as of July 14, vs. 2,748 last year and the five year average of 1,576.

Western Arm Brook has seen a very different return – 430 to July 14, vs. 131 last year. Still, it is significantly down from the five-year average of 744.

In the Bay St. George and Humber area, angling is also slow, and temperatures rising.

Harry’s River has counted 2,415 salmon with its Didson radar counter, vs 1,836 last year.

On the South Coast, Grey River had a very heavy rainfall and water levels have been high. The Conne is now closed to angling for the remainder of the season, but there was an encouraging increase in returns – 2,412 as of July 14, vs. 1,953 in 2012. Still, it is capable of a much higher population. in the pre-1991 period 5,000 to 7,000 was more normal.

Exploits also has high water – and doing nicely on returns, with 24,233 as of July 14, well ahead of last year’s 22,317.

Gander River did not get as much rain, but level rose a bit.

In central and Eastern Newfoundland there has not been much rain this month.

Terra Nova had 1,750 return by July 14, on a par with the 1,756 last year and near the five-year average of 1,715.

RIVER CLOSURES IN NEWFOUNDLAND

Newfoundland also has been hit by high water temperatures, leading to a series of closures mentioned over the last several days. Here is the list we have:

NOTICE TO ANGLERS
2013-170
Jul. 17, 2013
Salmon rivers closing in Zone 3, Zone 9, and Zone 10

DFO advises anglers that due to extremely low water levels and extremely
high water temperatures, the following rivers will close effective one
hour after sunset tomorrow, Thursday July 18, 2013. Rivers will reopen as
conditions improve.

For more information please visit the DFO website at www.nfl.dfo-mpo.gc.ca
or call the Angling Line at 709-772-4423.

24. Souflett’s River
25. Little Harbour Deep
26. Coney Arm River
27. Sops Arm River and tributaries
82. Colinet River including north and east branches
83. Rocky River & tributary streams
84. North Harbour River, St. Mary’s Bay
85. Little Salmonier River, St. Mary’s Bay
86. Big Barachois Brook, St. Mary’s Bay
87. Branch River, St. Mary’s Bay
88. Great Barasway
89. South East River (Placentia) & tributary streams
90. Northeast River, Placentia
91. Come By Chance River
92. Watson’s Brook, Placentia Bay
93. North Harbour River, Placentia Bay
94. Black River, Placentia Bay below falls
95. Piper’s Hole River

FISHERIES AND OCEANS CANADA
NOTICE TO ANGLERS
July 15, 2013
Salmon rivers closing in Zones 3 and 4.
 
DFO advises anglers that due to extremely low water levels and extremely
high water temperatures, the following rivers will close effective one
hour after sunset tonight, Tuesday July 16, 2013. Rivers will reopen as
conditions improve.

For more information please visit the DFO website at www.nfl.dfo-mpo.gc.ca
or call the Angling Line at 709-772-4423.

Zone 3
29.Wild Cove Brook
30. Western Arm Brook
31. Middle Arm Brook
32. Southern Arm Brook
33. Baie Verte river and tributaries
34. Woodstock River

Zone 4
35. Burlington River
36. Indian River
37. West river
38. South Brook
39. Tommy’s Arm River
40. Northwest Arm Brook
41. Western Arm River
42. Leamington River
43. Charles Brook

Labrador

Sand Hill – In total, the return to July 14 is almost on par with 2012 – 2,506 vs 2,670. The interesting thing is the greater percentage of large salmon, 1174 this year vs. 579 last year. Meanwhile the grilse return is far below last year, with 1,332 this year vs 2,091 in 2012.

Some angling reports:

Water is a bit low on Forteau. Temps not too bad, with 16 to 18 C days. Fish are just coming in to Forteau, as of Sunday.

Last week there was  a decent run of fish on the Pinware, but runs a bit late.

Flowers – The river is a bit on high side. Ice had accumulated offshore, but is now almost gone. Pratt Falls is reporting good fishing in last week or so. Water levels are down a bit, but fish are pooling up.

Nova Scotia

Margaree – Low flows and warm temperatures prevail, with little activity

LaHave – Morgan Falls Fishway is reporting 99 large salmon and 62 grilse as of July 15, vs 27 large salmon and 18 grilse in 2012 – a very positive sign. The large salmon numbers are well above the most recent five-year average of 71. However, grilse returns are far below the recent five-year average of 329.

Maine

Penobscot – Anyone in the Bangor area on Monday is invited to attend the official breaching of the Veazie Dam, with the ceremony being held on the Eddington side of the river. See details.

Meanwhile, the last postings of numbers at the Veazie Trap before it is dismantled is disappointing. The total of 372 salmon counted this year is the lowest number in the 36-year history of the Veazie Trap. Next year trapping will be conducted at the Milford fishlift, beginning April 15.

Penobscot Salmon Returns to Veazie - final number.

Penobscot Salmon Returns to Veazie – final number.

 

Hot Rivers and Closures

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