FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MAY 10, 2018
ASF partners to launch NL salmon studies
Federation joins DFO, Nunatsiavut Government to track wild salmon
ST. ANDREWS – The Atlantic Salmon Federation, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, and the Nunatsiavut Government will partner to expand salmon tracking and research in Newfoundland and Labrador this year.
Four separate research projects will be initiated. They are:
- Strait of Belle Isle – capture and tagging of Gulf of St. Lawrence post-smolt (ASF)
- Lake Melville, Labrador – acoustic tagging and tracking of smolt leaving rivers in the Upper Lake Melville area (ASF, DFO, Nunatsiavut Government)
- Port Hope Simpson, Labrador – extension of existing receiver line (ASF, DFO)
- Western Arm Brook, northern Newfoundland - acoustic tagging and tracking of smolt (ASF, DFO)
To see a high resolution map of these sites, and ASF’s existing study rivers, go to bottom of page
These new projects will enhance knowledge of salmon migration patterns and help identify areas of marine mortality, considered to be the greatest threat to the species today.
“Parts of Newfoundland and Labrador have experienced huge drops in salmon returns recently,” said ASF President Bill Taylor. “As a result, everyone has agreed that more research is needed to understand exactly what’s happening and identify solutions”
At Lake Melville and Western Arm Brook, juvenile Atlantic heading downstream for their first ocean migration will be captured and a small sonic transmitter will be inserted in the stomach cavity. Upon release, the smolt, generally 13-16cm in length, will pass by arrays of receivers strategically placed in the river, estuary, and along the coast. Each time a tagged smolt is detected, information is logged and later downloaded by researchers.
At the Strait of Belle Isle, ASF researchers will use a custom designed live-box trawl to capture Gulf of St. Lawrence post-smolt, juveniles that have nearly doubled in size since leaving their home river. The Strait is currently the furthest extent of tracking capability for fish tagged in ASF’s long-term Gulf study rivers. Capturing and tagging post-smolt at this point in the salmon migration will allow scientists to follow movements further than ever into the Labrador Sea.