Bill Taylors mid season report indicates that all eastern Canada rivers were late this year but encouraging news of the fish finally getting here . The following report is for most areas of eastern Canada . Read more for Bill’s report
TO: ASF (CANADA) DIRECTORS
ASF (U.S.) DIRECTORS
ASF NATIONAL COUNCIL
FROM: BILL TAYLOR
DATE: JULY 12, 2007
RE: FISHING REPORT
Those of you who fished in June probably experienced good water conditions for the most part but, unfortunately, few salmon. The hope that the runs are just late due to icy ocean waters was given some reinforcement in early July, when runs, especially of large salmon, to many rivers picked up. Counting facilities to the end of June, throughout eastern Canada and New England, generally indicated poorer runs in comparison to years just past.
Counting facilities on the Miramichi River to June 30 showed declines in returns of large salmon and grilse with the exception of the Northwest Cassilis trapnet. The Upsalquitch barrier was slightly ahead of last year in salmon, but behind in grilse. The Mactaquac Dam on the Saint John River showed a marked decrease in both salmon and grilse.
In June, few fish were spotted in the rivers of N.B., despite good water just about everywhere.
By July 4, angling picked up on the Miramichi and continued into the week of July 9, with excellent water conditions. Anglers saw a mixture of salmon and grilse on the Main Southwest Miramichi. Fishing on the Northwest Miramichi has improved with fish moving through. The Little Southwest Miramichi anglers saw steady improvement in July.
On the Restigouche River, salmon runs were reported as excellent by July 12. More salmon than grilse were seen and caught.
By the end of June, salmon were showing up on the Margaree River, much later than usual. By July 9 on the Cheticamp River, fishing was decent but rain was needed. The St. Maryâ€™s was doing well, water was good in early July, and anglers reported good fishing. The Sackville River actually had a better count than last year, mostly grilse with a few salmon mixed in. The LaHave River count was considerably down from last year.
Salmon fishing on the Island is very slow. Not one salmon had been spotted at Mooney’s Pond, which is a good spot to determine the strength of the Morell River run.
To July 2, the run to the Penobscot River was 525 salmon, quite a bit lower than the 866 salmon that returned last year. Maine State officials decided on June 28 to hold an annual catch-and-release fishery in the fall, based on the success of last yearâ€™s experimental fishery. This is dependent on the Penobscotâ€™s run producing enough broodstock to meet the demand of hatcheries for stocking Maineâ€™s rivers.
To June 28, angling in the Gaspe rivers, York, Dartmouth, and St-Jean, was just fair. Toward the end of the month, the numbers of salmon and grilse entering the rivers increased. The Bonaventureâ€™s run was substantially down in June. Following the high tides at the end of the month, fish began to enter the river, but it was too early to judge the strength of the run. To July 8, the Matapedia River had excellent temperatures and water levels, but the runs were late. The catch was two-thirds of last yearâ€™s. By July 9, more fish entered the river and angling improved accordingly. About 130 salmon had returned to the Causapscal Riverâ€™s counting station by late June, compared to an unprecedented 200 last year. The Matane River was the exception to the rule. By July 8, 420 salmon had returned compared to 49 in 2006. The Grand Cascapedia had a slow start to its angling season. Fishing on the river began to pick up the first week of July, hopefully an indication of better fishing in the weeks ahead. The live release rate was 83%. Low water plagued anglers at the Moisie Salmon Club for most of June, but catches were higher than last year (107 compared to 91 caught and released).
Newfoundland and Labrador
In southwestern Newfoundland, the Bay St. George rivers opened on June 1 to poor fishing that lasted throughout June. Lack of rain lowered water levels and temperatures increased. By July 9, there was an improvement in conditions, and anglers saw more fish, mostly grilse.
Reports from rivers in western Newfoundland, such as the Humber, Lomond and Serpentine, mirrored the Bay St. George situation. The few fish reported at Big Falls on the Humber were much later than usual and weighed between 8 and 12 lbs, with a few grilse mixed in.
The Northern Peninsula rivers, such as Big East, Castor, River of Ponds, and St. Genevieve, produced poor fishing in June, with very few fish even apparent. In early July, a fair number of fish were caught in Main Brook (near Roddicton) and Beaver Brook, and by July 9, more fish had entered Northern Peninsula rivers.
In central Newfoundland, June was a poor month for salmon returns to the Exploits and Gander rivers. The count to the Bishop Falls fishway on the Exploits to mid June was the lowest count in 15 years. Historical run data for the Exploits indicates that low returns in early season generally means low returns for the entire season. Runs began to improve on the Exploits by July 9, with about 4000 fish through the fish way, half the number last year at the same time.
In southern Newfoundland, Conne Riverâ€™s poor run meant no angling season. In eastern Newfoundland low and warm water on the Salmonier and other rivers coupled with no fish made for a disappointing June. Heavy rains during the first week of July caused rivers on the Avalon to flood, making angling difficult.
Reports from Labrador indicate that angling on the Forteau was poor but there were salmon in the bay near the mouth of the river. Few fish were spotted in the Pinware and Maryâ€™s Harbour rivers. The Eagle River was still high during the first week of July, and there were few fish. Some fish were spotted on the St. Lewis River at the falls.
All of this points out the importance of our Greenland Conservation Agreement and international efforts at the North Atlantic Salmon Conservation Organization (NASCO) to impose implementation plans that make governments accountable to international agreements when managing and conserving salmon domestically. I have attached an opinion piece on the Greenland Conservation Agreement that appeared in the Halifax Chronicle Herald as well as a good number of other newspapers, and coverage by the National Post in Canada from a media conference held just before NASCO in Bar Habor, Maine.
Attachments: Media clippings