NBSC Website

Lieutenant Governor’s Award for Wild Atlantic Salmon Conservation

2011 Recipient: Jim Gillespie

Originally from Saint John, NB. A lifelong outdoorsman on the water and in the woods, learning from his father about fishing, hunting and hunting dogs.  35 year career with CP Rail which had him living in Calgary, AB, Chapleau and Mississauga, ON, Browneville, ME, not to mention brief stints in Winnipeg, MB, Windsor, Sudbury and Ottawa, ON.  After retiring in 1989, began fly-fishing in 1990 on the Hammond River and on the Miramichi.  Caught his first salmon on the Hammond which hooked him as not only a salmon angler, but it launched him into an accomplished career as a volunteer salmon conservationist locally, provincially, nationally and internationally.


-        President of Hammond River Angling Association (HRAA) from 1991 - 1994.

-        A big man, with a big heart and big ideas… it was during his tenure that the HRAA went to an entirely new level of fundraising with the launch of the “Dream Trout Draw”.

-        Took the lead in procuring a portion of land along the Hammond River and was instrumental in garnering the support for the HRAA to build its impressive Conservation Centre on the banks of the Hammond.  Officially opened in 1998, this building remains a focal point for the HRAA’s river stewardship, outreach and youth education programs (e.g. “Kids R Cool for Conservation Camp”).

-        Jim provided his expertise to other organizations by helping the Big Salmon River Angling Association and the Trapper’s Association launch their own successful fundraisers.


-        Served as President of the NB Salmon Council for a good portion of the 1990’s.

-        During his tenure, Jim was a strong spokesperson for fish and a clean environment.

-        Created and implemented a special live release incentive program whereby anglers returned their unused salmon tags for entry into a draw for substantial prizes.

-        Was instrumental in the formation of the New Brunswick Wildlife Council and served as its first Chair.  He helped implement the now very familiar conservation license plates that raise funds for distribution to conservation projects throughout NB via the Wildlife Trust Fund.


-        Served on the Board of the Atlantic Salmon Federation, as well as ASF’s International and Government Affairs Committee and Nominating Committee.

-        Served as a Commissioner of the Canadian delegation to the North Atlantic Salmon Conservation Organization (NASCO), an international salmon conservation organization that involves countries on both sides of the Atlantic.

-        As Canadian Commissioner, attended NASCO meetings in Ireland, Scotland and the Faroe Islands with the Canadian delegation.

-        During his tenure as Commissioner, ASF and the North Atlantic Salmon Fund negotiated agreements for a moratorium on the commercial salmon fishery off the coast of Western Greenland where most North American Atlantic salmon feed before returning to our rivers.  This agreement has resulted in increased returns of large spawners to North American rivers after many years of diminishing returns and is an important factor in the recent upward trend in salmon returns to our rivers.


-        2004 - ASF’s T.B. “Happy” Fraser Award and Wall of Fame – top Canadian Atlantic salmon conservation award.  Jim’s portrait is carved in wood and graces the walls of ASF’s Hall of Fame at the Atlantic Salmon Interpretive Centre in St. Andrews.

-        1998 - “Famous Grouse Award” – Ruffed Grouse Society of Canada.

-        1998 - Canadian Recreational Fisheries Award - 1998 (This award honours individuals and organizations for their contribution to the conservation, restoration and enhancement of Canada's recreational fisheries and their habitat. These individuals and organizations have played, and continue to play, a very important role in sustaining and developing the recreational fishing experience throughout Canada)

Other positions:

-        Served as the first chairman of the New Brunswick Wildlife Council.

-        Current Director on the Board of the Hammond River Angling Association.

-        Past President of the Kennebecasis Valley CrimeStoppers


Proudest accomplishment:

-        Building of the HRAA Conservation Centre on the banks of the Hammond River.


Biggest reward:

-        Friendships of the many conservation-minded volunteers with whom he has worked over the years.

-        Passing the lifestyle of hunting, fishing and conservation on to his two sons and their families.