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Lieutenant Governor’s Award for Wild Atlantic Salmon Conservation

2016 Recipient: Fort Folly Habitat Recovery Program

The New Brunswick Salmon Council is pleased to announce that the 2016 recipient of the Lieutenant Governor’s Award for Wild Atlantic Salmon Conservation is the Fort Folly First Nation’s Fish Habitat Recovery program (the FFHR).  The award will be presented by the Lieutenant Governor, Her Honour Jocelyne Roy-Vienneau, at Government House in Fredericton on Thursday, April 12,2017.  Chief Rebecca Knockwood of Fort Folly First Nation and Program Manager, Mr. Tim Robinson will be among a group of deserving individuals who will receive the award on behalf of the FFHR.  The presentation ceremony is held in conjunction with the annual ASF / NB Salmon Council Conservation dinner, which will be held later that evening at the Fredericton Inn.

The Lieutenant Governor’s Award for Wild Atlantic Salmon Conservation was created in 2000 by the New Brunswick Salmon Council (NBSC) in partnership with the Honorary 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.  Each of the recipients has a distinguished record for contributing to New Brunswick wild Atlantic salmon conservation efforts.  

Former recipients include J.W. (Bud) Bird, James D. Irving, Bob Baker, Jim Gillespie, David Hashey, Danny Bird, Bryant Freeman, the late Fred Wheaton, the late Lou Duffley and last year’s recipient, the late William Ensor.

The award itself is symbolized by an expertly-crafted piece 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’s surface after having safely released an Atlantic salmon.

Carving Signifying the Lieutenant Governor’s Award for Wild Atlantic Salmon Conservation

The 2017 recipient, the Fort Folly Habitat Recovery program, is based on the Fort Folly First Nation, which is located near Dorchester, NB.  The FFHR has been in existence since 1993 to promote and conduct natural wild habitat stewardship and restoration.  FFHR’s mandate is to promote the role of Aboriginal people in the assessment of ecosystem health and to work towards the restoration of traditionally-important species and their habitats.

Since 2001 FFHR has been an active member of the Planning Group and National Recovery Team for the endangered inner Bay of Fundy (iBoF) Atlantic salmon.  The FFHR has worked extensively in ongoing salmon conservation and recovery actions on New Brunswick’s Atlantic salmon index rivers in partnership with relevant government departments, agencies as well as other interested NGOs and stakeholder groups.

Since the opening of the causeway gates on the Petitcodiac River estuary in 2010, FFHR has been the lead iBoF Atlantic salmon stakeholder group there, heading efforts (often in conjunction with other members of the Petitcodiac Fish Recovery Coalition) to restore this important endangered species to the watershed from which it had been extirpated.  FFHR’s work on behalf of the Petitcodiac each year since 2010 has made possible the release of significant numbers of juvenile and adult salmon into the Petitcodiac River system, as well as ensuring that the necessary in-river monitoring continues to take place.

In the fall of 2015, after years of active stakeholder engagement and lobbying, the Fisheries and Oceans Canada Species at Risk Management Division reported to Recovery Team that the Petitcodiac River will be included in the drainages containing freshwater habitat that is critical to the recovery of the iBoF Atlantic salmon, and that this will be recognized in the Draft Amended Recovery Strategy for the species.

In 2014 the FFHR engaged in a marine-based salmon rearing project in partnership with Fundy National Park and the Atlantic Canada Fish Farmers Association.  Salmon, collected as smolts from Petitcodiac drainage nursery streams, are raised to maturity in sea cages and later released back into freshwater river habitat to spawn naturally.  In 2015, the first cohort of salmon raised in this manner were released into three iBoF Atlantic salmon river drainages, the Petitcodiac River’s being one.  Also, in 2015, a dedicated conservation grow-out site for remnant NB iBoF Atlantic salmon families (located at Dark Harbour, Grand Manan) was secured for the rearing of subsequent salmon year classes that will be allocated to this project.