From the Blog

Salmon & Grilse Counts to July 15th

If you go to the DFO link on the right side of the main page you can access the DFO web site showing salmon and grilse counts up till July 15th . It also shows you a comparison dating back to 1997 . The main SW branch that we are on is counted at the Millerton trapnet. As you will see the counts are way above the previous ten year average for both large ( MSW ) salmon and grilse . This is great news for both the atlantic salmon as a species and for anglers who enjoy the sport so much . So the next time you hear someone complain about releasing a salmon remind them that this is one of the main reasons we have salmon here today . Now if we could get the entire Miramichi watershed ( rivers, brooks, lakes , swamps and springs ) buffer zone extended back ten to fifteen miles , instead of thirty metres like it is now , we could get a real start on returning our river quality and salmon numbers to the way it was in the 1800’s.


  1. Brad Burns says:

    Amen to all of that… A friend was down at a beach off Miramichi Bay a couple of days ago. He has been going there for many of his 40 years. He is not someone prone to exaggeration, but he said that he was really pleasantly surprised at the great number of salmon – especially some big ones – that he saw jumping. There were many more than usual. It looks like the rest of the season will have plenty of fish too.

  2. this has nothing to do with the counts really but my question is in regards to the closure of the cold water pools. I’m completely in agreement that during times of low water and high temperatures, there should be some relief for the fish at the expense of the angler. But why 2 weeks late? now that the conditions are once again ideal the pools should be open again. Especially for those of us who can’t afford 500 dollars a day.
    I also noticed that the largest of all these cold water pools , Big Hole Brook , was not closed. I find this particularly disturbing because of the political implications. Will those who govern the watershed not protect its most viable resource because the wealthy enjoy fishing
    I have no personal feelings against the family at all I just find it hard to believe that in a sanctuary that large the decision was to remain open.
    Please enlighten me Kieth. You always seem to give a logical explanation

    • Hi Bob-
      I am not certain as to the reason why Big Hole Brook remained open compared to Black Brook but I know there are certain physical characteristics that make the two pools different . At Big Hole Brook the river leading into the pool has a much steeper grade and rougher water which generates more oxygen and they also have Betts Mill Brook not very far upstream that generates cold water and plenty of oxygen , compared to Black Brook that is much more shallow to begin with , the brook is smaller and from what I hear is warmer than Big Hole Brook . So I am guessing that there could be less oxygen being generated upstream of Black Brook Pool . I am not a fisheries biologist and of course have no science to back my opinion so that is all it is , just my guess .

  3. Well said, Keith.

    The Maritime Provincial governments need to work in conjunction with the logging/farming industries to establish and enforce appropriate buffer zones so our fisheries will be there for years to come.

    For the Miramichi, the salmon fishery is a lifeline for our outfitters and tourism operators — and it is time for the decision makers (who ever that may be) to recognize this as the region needs all the help it can get.

    Great to see the numbers up this year!

  4. Hello Keith

    I’m not sure that I agree with your logic here – during the years 1976,1977 and 1978 I made two trips per week by canoe during the height of the salmon runs from the Kedgwick downstream to Tidehead (Restigouche)checking anglers
    and obtaining statistics from lodges. I can never remember a trip without picking up two or three dead salmon and some trips we had a canoe full (literally) – 22 and sometimes a 26 ft. canoe with two of us.

    Anyway we would turn some of these fish over to biologists for examination, some had disease and simply died but there was a good number that still had flies and pieces of leader stuck in them. Some had been played out and simply
    died. Big fish most of them. How many other fish were vulnerable to birds and mink, etc. after being played and lost, I don’t know. There is a mortality
    from hook and release, how high a mortality is debatable and much has been written on this by so-called experts in every country that has Atlantic Salmon. I do agree that if I kill a fish it is dead and if you release a fish it has a chance.

    I am not against hook and release but I want the choice. If
    I want to kill a fish I don’t fish where the hook and release crowd are. The percentage of fish that die after being released is unknown and depends
    on a lot of factors (how long it was stressed, release methods, how many pictures you took of it, how long you had it out of the water, where you had
    your hands on the fish, water temperature, etc. etc.

    In later years I spent a salmon season as Supervisor for DFO on the Miramichi and saw similar stuff or in some cases was told this by other Fishery Officers.

    The moral of the story is that I think (opinion) that one CANNOT assume that just because counts are good it is the direct result of hook and release.

    In the days that I worked on the Restigouche system there were many anglers, lots of fish and very little intentional hook and release. My first job with DFO was working mainly on recreational salmon rivers in eastern NS along with
    a commercial salmon fishery in the tidal waters; my father was a commercial salmon fisher and I took many salmon out of nets, traps and hook gear. I caught many guys jigging fish in inland waters – I saw many dead fish that had been played and lost on rivers such as the St. Mary’s, Liscomb, Moser
    River, Tangier, Musquodoboit, Quoddy and the Ecum Secum. As an example the Newfoundland & Labrador Wildlife Federation has been against hook and release salmon angling for years and still are.

    All the best and keep up the good work


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