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.

The NB Salmon Council’s answers to DFO’s Request for input on the Wild Salmon Conservation Strategy.

For the full document click here


On Oct. 5, 2022, Robert Chiasson of Bathurst was presented with the 2021 Lieutenant Governor’s Award for Wild Atlantic Salmon Conservation.  In a ceremony at Government House, Mr. Chiasson received the award from the President of the New Brunswick Salmon Council, Mr. Kevin Davidson, and the Lt. Governor’s representative, Ms. Judy Wagner.

Mr. Chiasson is certainly deserving of the award.  In a pre-ceremony pronouncement, Mr. Davidson remarked “The Lieutenant Governor's Award for Wild Atlantic Salmon Conservation celebrates the contributions of New Brunswickers to Atlantic salmon conservation.  For over four decades, Robert Chiasson has given untold hours of his time and energy to the conservation and restoration of Atlantic salmon.  His dedication to this cause is truly the epitome of the service that this Award seeks to recognize.”

Although she was unable to attend the ceremony in person, the Lt. Governor, the Honourable Brenda Murphy, agreed, saying “The Lieutenant Governor’s Award for Wild Atlantic Salmon Conservation recognizes New Brunswickers who, like Mr. Chiasson, dedicate their time and efforts towards the preservation of Wild Atlantic Salmon.  Our province’s natural beauty, fauna, and flora must be protected for future generations to enjoy.  I encourage all New Brunswickers to interact with nature in a sustainable and environmentally responsible manner.”.

On accepting the award, Mr. Chiasson remarked “Although I’m humbled to receive such a prestigious award, it is through the combined effort of many volunteers who have made it possible.  Salmon conservation is a team effort and without the dedication of those who care, none of what we have accomplished to date would have been possible.”

Mr. Chiasson has been an active volunteer in excess of forty (40) years with the Nepisiguit Salmon Association, helping the group restore the Nepisiguit River’s Atlantic salmon population in cooperation with Pabineau First Nation, government agencies and several corporate sponsors.  Mr. Chiasson was involved with the original restoration efforts that occurred after the Nepisiguit’s salmon population was decimated by a mine failure and subsequent acid drainage event in 1977.  He has also been active in the New Brunswick Wildlife Federation and has served as a committee member for the New Brunswick Wildlife Trust Fund.

The Lieutenant Governor’s Award for Wild Atlantic Salmon Conservation was created in 2000 by the New Brunswick Salmon Council in partnership with the Honorary Matron / Patron of the Council, the Lieutenant Governor of New Brunswick.  Recipients of the award are selected by a committee appointed by the New Brunswick Salmon Council.

The award is officially announced by the Lieutenant Governor each year at an autumn reception held at Government House in Fredericton.  The recipient is recognized for having gone above and beyond the call of duty in their contribution to salmon conservation.  Each of the recipients has a distinguished record when it comes to conserving the wild Atlantic salmon.

The award itself is also in a distinguished category of bas-relief art. Hand carved from a piece of native New Brunswick black cherry by the late Bill Page, the image depicts the hand of an angler beneath the water surface after having safely released an Atlantic salmon back to the river.  The carving has been polished and treated with a special oil to preserve its lasting beauty, and is on display throughout the year at Government House, the official residence of New Brunswick’s Lieutenant Governor in Fredericton.

The New Brunswick Salmon Council (NBSC) is the Regional Council of the Atlantic Salmon Federation in New Brunswick. NBSC is a non-profit, charitable organization.  Its work is carried out through delegations of volunteers who are interested in the wise management and conservation of the wild Atlantic salmon in the rivers that flow through New Brunswick.  The Council has 22 salmon conservation organization and angling group affiliates from the Province of NB, and one from the State of Maine.


Robert Chiasson (left) receives a framed photo of the 2021 Lt. Governor’s Award for Wild Atlantic Salmon Conservation from NBSC President, Kevin Davidson (the actual award is visible over Kevin’s left shoulder)

NB Salmon Council in Working Group negotiating allowable recreational fisheries harvest details for Atlantic salmon at various abundance levels on the Northwest/Little Southwest and Southwest Miramichi systems.  This group, which also includes fellow salmon conservation organizations, First Nations representatives, provincial representatives and DFO personnel, is part of a DFO initiative to have salmon harvests comply with the so-called “Precautionary Approach” (PA).  An attempt is being made to implement the PA on all Canada’s harvested fish stocks.  The NBSC used the following first principles in guiding our negotiations in the Working Group.

Link to the document available here



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