From the Blog

Feed back on the warm water situation

Mike Mckay says:
July 16, 2010 at 11:53 am (Edit)
Hey Keith,

I know this is how you make your money….but shouldn’t you keeps the rods off the river during this hot strech? Any big salmon hooked will certainly die in this hot water. Just my 2 cents no hard feelings!


Keith says:
July 18, 2010 at 8:24 am (Edit)
Hi Mike- thanks for reading our river report .
It is a tough situation for sure with so many people ( guides , cooks , kitchen staff , yard workers and managers ) up and down the river depending on such a short season to try to make a living , while at the same time trying our best to protect the health of the salmon . It is not about making money , which is impossible to do in this industry these days , it’s about putting food on the table , clothes on your kids back and hoping they can get a decent education . We make changes to our routine all the time to take pressure off the fish when stressed , for example we even sometimes cut the entire bend off the hook so that if a fish does feel like rising to the fly it will not be hooked , but the guest still has a thrill of the rise and take . We have seen only three dead salmon here in McNamee in two weeks , but then again we do not have the mass concentration of fish pooled up here like there might be at Big Hole Brook or Black Brook . I think it would be much safer for the fish and better for the river in general if there was more enhancement on the small pockets of cold water around rather than having huge numbers in just a few big pools . The regulations are such now that only the rich and powerful can afford to do work on their pools these days . And a lot of people are of the mind that the “Big Boys” are only doing these big projects in order to get “The Green Stamp” of approval for their companies while at the same time they are a slaughtering thousands or acres of forest land in our watershed .Have you ever added up the total acreage of land that is wiped out by road building alone , have you watched the process , how they grub it off and dig a huge ditch down one side that will drain hundreds of acres of swamp land and intercept thousands of valuable feeder springs . Maybe it is time we took a closer look at why our rivers appear to be warmer than usual . So I agree with you Mike , in principal , that the health of a living creature is more important than people making money , especially the millions of dollars that some companies have made off our forests , and in my opinion it is at the expense of the Miramichi River and the beloved Atlantic salmon .

Regards, Keith


  1. Hi Keith

    I read your reports and appreciate your straightforwardness on conditions around the river. I called you in ’83 about coming up from NS and you gave me the truth about how poor the fishing was back then. You gave me a lift up to Boisetown with my canoe a year or two ago.

    Glad for your guy Ernest to be in the Journal.

    Was upriver last week and saw the tough fishing with my wife. My heart goes out to you outfitters trying to make things work under these conditions.

    Hang in there – hopefully things pick up. You have our respect on how you conduct your business.

    Dave and Shirley Banks

  2. John Farnham says:

    Keith, very well thought out and informative reply…puts things in proper perspective. Keep up the good work! -John Farnham

  3. I just wanted to put it out there that there is research being done on these cold water refuges like springs and tributaries. The fish may only need the cold water a few days each summer but in a few days of 30oC water temperature the salmon population can go from good to real bad. Roads, forestry, but also other forms of development are being looked into as to their effect on cold water sources. By understanding where they are and how they work, everyone can start doing their part to protect them. I think the dead salmon people are seeing floating downriver is all the evidence we need to realize how important to cold water is. And I agree with Keith that there should be more of these sources throughout the system rather than only in a few spots like Big Hole and Black Brook. It should also be said that Irving is following this research pretty closely to see how they can reduce the impacts of roads, etc., and figure out how to manage around the sources of cold water.

    The problem of warm water has been recognized by many conservation groups and research groups and things are being done to figure out some solutions. Hopefully they’ll work!

  4. Hi Nathan-
    I agree , of all the Canadian forestry companies , New Brunswick is lucky to have Irving . This company does more to protect than most any other in Canada . I think it is the basic philosophy in this province that forestry is more important than our environment . I think there could be much more done on private woodland operations , i.e., better road building , tree planting and mandatory tree planting/sivilculture .

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