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The New Brunswick Salmon Council (NBSC) is a non-profit, volunteer based organization, dedicated to the protecting wild Atlantic salmon and supporting the restoration and enhancement activity on all watersheds in New Brunswick.

Fix uncertainty on Miramichi Lake bass eradication

Another legal challenge has been launched against a plan by the Working Group on Smallmouth Bass Eradication to use rotenone in a part of the Miramichi watershed to address the invasive fish species.

A plan to use rotenone to eliminate smallmouth bass in part of the Miramichi River watershed has stalled yet again. The project would use rotenone, a piscicide, to kill the aquatic species in a section of the Miramichi that has been invaded by the bass, which pose a threat, potentially an existential one, to salmon in that section of the waterway.

The introduction of bass is believed to date back to 2008, when it’s thought they were established in Miramichi Lake. Since then, other avenues of containment and elimination haven’t been enough. Electrofishing and standard angling did not prevent the spread of the smallmouth. A barrier didn’t stop the bass from entering the Southwest Miramichi River in 2019.

The plan was conceived by a working group as a further – and yes, more forceful – way to contain the smallmouth and eliminate them. The piscicide would be neutralized downstream and much care taken to ensure that native species can repopulate the sections of waterway to be treated. The idea was developed by many local stakeholders and reflects a lengthy consultation process, including with Indigenous communities. It was approved by Fisheries and Oceans Canada.

In that light, it’s no longer acceptable that last-minute court challenges continue to stall the project. While one request for an injunction was recently withdrawn, another is now in motion.

Meanwhile, the bass continue their conquest. Continuing to oppose the plan flies in the face of the wishes of many local stakeholders and also fails to treat the situation with the urgency it deserves. Changing climate patterns mean invasive species are becoming an increasing threat to our ecosystems, and we rarely have the luxury of time, especially not two consecutive seasons of legal limbo.

The gridlock shows there is a problem with our system, in which opposition to a soundly conceived project can stall it indefinitely.

It’s time for the legal uncertainty to be cleared up once and for all, with speed. The plan must either proceed, or be scrapped and a suitable alternative plan arranged to keep smallmouth bass from further reducing fragile salmon stocks in the Miramichi watershed, a region that depends on them.

Unfortunately, there are no perfect options or even good options for the elimination of many invasive species. But the more time that passes with little or no action, the more destruction those species can wreak. We believe it’s time for the project to proceed.

Copied with permission from https://www.asf.ca/news-and-magazine/salmon-news/fix-uncertainty-bass

NSA Members:
This again was a very trying year for the NSA. There was never an opportunity to have our annual meeting due to COVID Restrictions.
We were also unable to host our annual supper as in years past. We did have a very successful raffle on 2 tickets to Larry’s Gulch
which brought in approx. $5000 to our funds. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the NSA and our sponsors and those who
provided donations with their ongoing support of the NSA in the past year and look forward to the year ahead with your continuing
support of our efforts to strive for a healthy return of Wild Atlantic salmon to the Nepisiguit River.

In the spring of 2021, a Protocol Agreement (MOU) was signed between the NSA and Pabineau First Nations to confirm their
commitment to work collaboratively on the preservation of the Atlantic salmon on the Nepisiguit.

Approximately 76,000 eyed eggs were received from Charlo SEC and then processed through the streamside incubation boxes at the
NB Power dam site at Nepisiguit Falls. 74,000 fry were stocked in the Nepisiguit River, Pabineau Brook, Gordon Meadow Brook and
Little River [partnering with Pabineau First Nation {PFN}

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Full PDF available here (Both English and French)

International Co-operation Brings Hope for Aroostook River Salmon Re-colonization

For the past several years, New Brunswick Salmon Council (NBSC – “the Council”) affiliates, the St. John Basin Salmon Recovery Inc. (SJBSRI) and Atlantic Salmon for Northern Maine (ASNM), have partnered with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO), and the Council to deliver 40,000 eyed Tobique River Atlantic salmon eggs to the Dug Brook hatchery in Sheridan, Maine.  The process is challenging because of the international border involved, and the disease testing required to allow the import of the eggs into the US.  RPC in Fredericton conducts the disease testing at the Mactaquac Biodiversity Facility on the brood fish that produce the eggs.  They certify that the eggs meet US and Maine disease-free requirements.

Once the eggs are at the hatchery, they are grown to the fry stage.  Some of the unfed or first-feeding fry are stocked into an Aroostook River tributary.  This provides a potential live gene bank for wild-exposed juveniles.  Several hundred fry are held back and are reared in the hatchery and at a Captive Adult Rearing facility that is being developed in Caribou, Maine.

The long-range plan is to stock the >6,000 km2 Aroostook River basin to a level approaching saturation.  Because the Aroostook is a St. John (Wolastoq) River tributary, the adults returning from the ocean from the resulting smolt run will provide fisheries benefits in both Canada and the US.  The Aroostook and its twin river, the Tobique, are as big as the greater Miramichi system, and could therefore theoretically produce as many salmon as that famous salmon river.  Downstream passage problems for smolts and kelts at the Tinker Dam on the Aroostook River and the Mactaquac headpond and Dam on the main stem St. John River must be addressed to enable the long-range success of the project.

In 2021 the egg transfer project was generously funded by the Council, ASNM, the SJBSRI and the NB Wildlife Trust Fund (NBWTF).  Special thanks to the NBWTF for their support.  Thanks as well to DFO for providing the eggs in kind.

 

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Project Personnel with NBWTF Logo at recent ASNM Fund-Raising Dinner

       ASNM Personnel at the Dug Brook Hatchery

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Eggs Incubating at the Dug Brook Hatchery

Eggs on Tray being Disinfected at Dug Brook

DFO has initiated consultations on updating the 2019 to 2021 Wild Atlantic Salmon Conservation Implementation Plan. This seems to be an opportunity for the input of conservation organizations and other stakeholders, such as our website followers, to provide input into the priority actions that this Plan should address. If interested, prepare comments on any of the slides in the attached PDF of a PowerPoint on the process. Comments should be addressed to DFO’s Atlantic Salmon Co-ordinator: Sarah Tuziak - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . In our comments The NB Salmon Council stressed the need for specific actions to address problems, not more study.

 PDF Powerpoint