Biologists, anglers encouraged by improved Atlantic salmon runs
Preliminary research suggests that wild Atlantic salmon returns to many east coast rivers met or exceeded their conservation requirements in 2011.
This research by the Atlantic Salmon Federation seems to confirm numerous anecdotal reports of larger salmons runs throughout Atlantic Canada and the state of Maine. This is expected to have a very positive impact on restoring salmon runs.
According the ASF, important factors in the upsurge of wild Atlantic salmon numbers include a strong emphasis on catch and release in the recreational fishing industry, and a conservation agreement suspending the commercial fishery on Greenland that harvests North American salmon on their feeding grounds. Returns were also helped by 2011’s consistently high water levels and reasonable water temperatures.
A few regional highlights include:
- Many Newfoundland rivers exceeded conservation requirements, including the Gander, Middle, Campbellton (by 495 per cent) and Torrent (by 867 per cent)
- Newfoundland’s Exploits River continued its incredible returns, with 41,000 in 2011, following a 2010 banner year of 45,000
- All of Labrador’s assessed rivers met spawning requirements, with the Sandhill exceeding requirements by 200 per cent
- Nova Scotia’s Margaree met its spawning requirement by more than 500 per cent, with over 6,000 large salmon and grilse
- New Brunswick’s Miramichi saw returns of 34,000 large salmon compared to 18,000 in 2010
For full results on Atlantic Canada’s major salmon rivers, download the one-page report. For more detailed, up-to-date data on salmon returns, plus numbers from Quebec and Maine salmon, go to the ASF’s River Notes page.
This article was originally published on April 31, 2012