Since 1953  the Miramichi Salmon Association (MSA) has worked toward the preservation and enhancement of the wild Atlantic salmon. MSA continues to look to build its membership strength, so we encourage you, if not already a member, to please join our ranks.  Join us Now
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Vol. 15 December 2017
Your 2018 Calendar is in the Mail!
With an unexpected printing delay now behind us, your 2018 MSA calendar is finally in the mail and expected to arrive in time for the holidays. Featuring 12 great images from this past year's Photo Contest, each monthly photo will serve to remind you why we all treasure and work so hard to protect and conserve our threatened Miramichi Resource. Additional calendars are available for $15 by calling the MSA at 506-622-4000 or heading to our Website Shop by Clicking Here!
by Mark Hambrook & Holly Labadie
Although the CAST program did not go according to plan this fall, the program is continuing. Under the new CAST Chair at UNB Fredericton, Dr. Tommi Linnansaari, work is progressing on many fronts, but this article will focus on the SAS (Smolt to Adult Supplementation) program.

When the CAST programs were being formulated in the spring of 2015, one of the programs we wanted to address was hatchery stocking. The MSA operates the former DFO hatchery in South Esk as a means to supplement natural Atlantic salmon spawning stocks in the Miramichi River.

Wild adult salmon are collected and spawned, and the little first-feeding fry are distributed to under-populated sections of the river. This strategy works very well when the goal is to maximize the juvenile population when the stocks are relatively good. In 2014 the Miramichi River experienced the lowest salmon returns on record and we could not collect enough adult fish to increase the number of fry to release.

In the spring of 2015 we applied for, and received, a permit from DFO to collect a small number of wild smolts to see if we could successfully grow them to adults in our hatchery.

We learned many lessons and were successful in growing these fish to an average of 9 lbs in 2 years, similar to the size they would have been in the wild. Unfortunately, we were not able to get a permit to release the majority of these fish. A scientific peer review to evaluate the UNB monitoring plan (that will document the success of the program) has not been completed and the First Nation communities have not been engaged fully in the program.

The peer review is scheduled for mid-January 2018 and work is progressing to fully engage the First Nation communities. We expect to have these issues resolved by spring 2018. We were given permission, however, to stock 20 pairs of SAS salmon into the upper Northwest Millstream, which is the UNB study area. The spawning success of these introduced salmon will be measured. We were also able to spawn fish at the hatchery, in another UNB study, to compare egg quality and viability between SAS fish and wild broodstock collected in the fall of 2017.
So what happened to the rest of the fish? ..... CLICK HERE TO CONTINUE READING
Barriers: End of Season Counts
The Northwest Barrier and the Dungarvon Barrier were last fished on Oct 19 th , 2017. Compared to 2016 the Northwest Barrier had fewer grilse and slightly more salmon at season end. The Dungarvon Barrier had fewer salmon and fewer grilse than end of season last year.

Barrier Reports
Northwest Barrier – Total to Date – October 19 th , 2017
Dungarvon Barrier – Total to Date – October 19 th , 2017
DFO Trap and Barrier Counts
At end of October DFO posted their catches at the Cassilis and Millerton Trap Nets. The Cassilis trap captured 691 large salmon in 2017 as compared to 590 in 2016 and had the largest number of salmon captured over the years recorded in the DFO report: CLICK HERE!  

 The Cassilis Trap had 940 grilse in 2017 up from 528 in 2016 but close to the average of 2004-2013.
The Millerton trap Net saw 591 large salmon, down from 776 in 2016 and down in general for the years reported. Millerton had 989 grilse in 2017, down slightly from 1030 in 2016 but down significantly from numbers seen prior to 2013.
For more details visit their website CLICK HERE!
MSA Field Program Update
by MSA Biologist Kelsey Mcgee
November marked the end of our 2017 field season, and this year we were very busy! 235,031 salmon fry were stocked in 6 main rivers/brooks and surrounding tributaries on the Miramichi River this spring. During our electrofishing program, the MSA surveyed 16 sites on the northwest and southwest branches of the Miramichi. We focused on areas upstream of dams removed in 2016 and previously stocked sites. When working in conjunction with DFO, 56 sites were surveyed. Salmon fry were present at every site that was surveyed this year in various densities. Our 2017 beaver dam management program saw over 50 dams breached even with the low water conditions and our field crews watched as adult Atlantic salmon migrated up these obstructed streams and brooks to spawn. Two cold water habitat restoration projects were completed this year on Hudson Brook on the Main Southwest Miramichi, and on Salmon Brook on the Cains river. Our broodstock have all been spawned and now we are waiting for their eggs to hatch (typically in late March to early April). 2018 is starting to look equally as busy as funding applications for next year’s projects are being submitted.  (Photo MSA Biologist Kelsey McGee doing the electro-fishing juvenile assessment)
MSA November Events
Fishing for Laughs in Miramichi

The MSA hosted comedian Jimmy McKinley on a great event on Saturday November 18th, 2017 at the Vogue Theatre in Miramichi, NB. With over a hundred locals in attendance the event was well received and includedcomedy guests Matt Richardson and Martin Saulnier. The evening itself raised over $2000 due in large part to Event Sponsors Towne Ford, Dickison's Pharmasave and Cooke Aquaculture. The MSA would like to thank all those who attended and we look forward to hosting more events in the Miramichi Area in the future. (Photo: L to R: Martin Saulnier, Jimmy McKinley, Mark Hambrook, and Matt Richardson.)
An Evening in Support of the Miramichi River

On November 23 rd , fifty (50) plus salmon enthusiasts enjoyed a casual evening of fun, food and fish tales, all in support of the MSA and its salmon conservation activities on the Miramichi River. The event was held at the Bedford, NS home of MSA Director Mike Crosby, who in addition to hosting the event also prepared all of the great food & snacks, including his always popular fish chowder. Each guest contributed a small donation, which when combined with proceeds from a 20 item raffle (many of which were donated by the attendees themselves!), this highly enjoyable evening raised over $5,000 for salmon conservation on the Miramichi River. Thanks to all those who attended… but especially to Mike for organizing such a great and fun event! ( Photo: MSA Director Mike Crosby serving up his ever-popular fish chowder and other great snacks".)
Poem by Paul Baker
This poem was written and shared by MSA Director Paul Baker at the Annual Meetings in Freeport, ME at the end of October 2017.
The river 'chi, holds a place in my heart
With so much to tell, not sure where to start.
Perhaps like most tales, from the beginning 
Of a young boy one day, who couldn't stop grinning.
My grandfather you see, was a Pond from Ludlow
And when chores were done, a fishing he'd go.
So it's no surprise, he taught me to cast
And gave me a lesson, til this day still last.
On some public water, just up from Boiestown 
Hooked my first fish, on a fly swung down.
The current helped, to put a tug in the line 
Though not very big, It still was all mine.
A pretty little trout, or at least so I thought 
As found out later, was good WE weren't caught.
For the rest of the day, the fishing was slow
But still I was sad, when was time to go.
Upcoming MSA Events You Don't Want to Miss
Still not a member of the Miramichi Salmon Association?
  Membership in the MSA is the perfect way to express your passion and support for the Miramichi River, for the Atlantic salmon who make it their home, and for the vital work being done by the MSA to protect and conserve both for today and tomorrow!
Miramichi Salmon Association | 506-622-4000 | |