A reminder to fill out the "contact" forms for seeing STRIPED BASS this year. The forms can be reached in the upper right corner of the ASF website front page. Striped Bass remain a major issue impacting Atlantic salmon smolt numbers, and in more than the Miramichi.
Rivers continue to be at historical record low levels - a fact confirmed by some residents that have lived along certain rivers for 90 years).
But there are bright spots in all this doom and gloom, with water temperatures having cooled off, some angling reports have improved.
A male Atlantic salmon in autumn colours is beautiful to look at - and beautiful to connect with. Photo on the Matapedia River by Dan Greenberg.
A more in-depth report will soon be available to September 30th along with previous four-year numbers.
Data used in the Quebec river notes is compiled from various river websites, social media and Quebec government sources.
With six days left in the 2018 season to September 24th, a total of 1,942 fish were counted migrating into the river (1,057 salmon & 885 grilse). To September 26th 2017, a total of 2,054 fish had been counted entering the river (1,265 salmon and 789 grilse).
To date at September 24th, 475 fish have been reported landed (160 salmon & 54 grilse released, 261 grilse harvested). To September 30th 2017, 912 fish were reported landed (267 releases, 177 salmon and 468 grilse harvested).
To date at September 12 (closure of the fishway) 684 fish have been counted (356 salmon and 328 grilse).
To September 17th 2017 for the season, 896 fish were counted through the fishway (662 salmon and 234 grilse) compared to the 1,150 fish to September 14, 2016 (651 salmon and 499 grilse).
In 2017, closure of the fishway was as of the 17th and as of the 14th in 2016.
To September 24th, a total of 1,106 have been reported landed (524 released).
At the same date in 2017, for the season, 1,170 fish were reported landed (543 released), compared to same date in 2016 when 939 fish were reported landed (423 released).
Angling continues to September 30th. Salmon over 30 lbs were landed recently. Most of the action being reported has happened in deeper pools along the river such as Matalik pool in sector 3 where 600 fish were counted.
Fall Atlantic salmon female being released on the Matapedia River. Photo Dan Greenberg.
Darlene Sexton, Director General at the Cascapedia reports the river received some badly needed rain on September 22nd and should improve angling until September 30th. To date at September 21st, 162 salmon have been reported landed and released. For the same period in 2017, 300 fish were reported released.
To date at September 15th, 1,289 fish have been reported landed (864 salmon released, and 425 grilse harvested). At the same date in 2017, 1,024 fish were reported landed (828 salmon released, and 196 grilse harvested).
The final in-river count was done recently and revealed a total 1,475 fish (963 salmon and 512 grilse). When the mid-season count was performed in late July, 1,317 were counted (877 salmon and 440 grilse).
New angler Nadine Lévesque releases a beautiful male Atlantic salmon in the Falls Pool, Bonaventure River. Photo Marc Gauthier
To August 31st, 181 fish (103 salmon and 23 grilse released, 55 grilse harvested) have been reported landed.
For the same period in 2017, 437 fish had been reported landed (256 salmon and 10 grilse released, 61 salmon and 110 grilse harvested).
Rivière Aux Rochers
Rivière aux Rochers salmon trap. Charles Cusson/ASF
For the 2018 season, 385 were counted and sampled in the trap and transported up stream to continue their migration. For the season in the limited rod sector, 120 fish were reported landed (80 salmon and 7 grilse were released), 33 grilse were harvested.
In 2017, 676 fish were counted (546 salmon and 130 grilse). Captures totaled 238 (208 releases, 1 salmon and 29 grilse had been harvested).
As of September 26th, the Mitis has had a total of 823 fish (272 salmon and 551 grilse) counted through the fish trap. To the same period in 2017, 920 fish (462 salmon and 458 grilse) had been counted.
To date, 216 fish (75 salmon released, 141 grilse harvested) have been reported landed. In 2017 to date, 163 salmon had been released and 99 grilse harvested were reported landed.
Philippe Rousseau releases a fine grilse on the Mitis River at the Fosse Croche Pool. Photo Stéphane Roy
PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND
Taylor Main notes:
Not too much to report on this week. The water remains low and there are very few fish around. So far it's been very similar to the start of last year's season with roughly the same water levels. I haven't heard of any fish being hooked over the past ten days. At the same time there isn't really any reason to be alarmed yet. We typically don't see many fish until after Thanksgiving and all the other runs of sea trout and steelhead throughout this season have been up to three weeks late.
Greg Lovely reports:
Same old story - we need rain. Hopefully the weather system that is supposed to go through the Margaree today and tomorrow does. The salmon are anxiously awaiting more water to move further up river. There are "practice redds" visible.
in a lot of pools salmon are held up. Fresh Fall fish are coming in on each tide and some are being caught. Several frosty mornings are keeping what water there is nice and cool. I hope the Northumberland rivers get good water this year, so that the salmon fishermen in Nova Scotia get to enjoy those rivers as well.
A fresh Fall Margaree salmon I tailed on Tues., Sept. 25, 2018 for Thomas Bacigalupo from Boston. Thomas caught it on a sparesly tied muddler minnow on his third cast on the pool. Photo Thomas Bacigalupo
Northumberland Strait Rivers
Jesse Gravel has notes on the Wallace River:
I was looking off the Fountain Road bridge into Howards Pool of the Wallace River which is a few kilometres upriver from the tidal estuary on September 20th. Water was still a bit low but nicely cold.
There were hundreds of suckers swimming in the bottom which is normal to see at this time. But sure enough, I counted a half dozen grilse and a couple of large salmon circling around above them! Great to see a few moving up already and hopefully it's a early sign of a good fall run in this and other nearby rivers. Time will tell!
The Barrier on the Dungarvon shows the very modest influx of salmon - just two grilse during the week.
The numbers of large Atlantic salmon remain of great concern, as they are responsible for the greatest percentage of eggs when it comes to the future productivity of the runs in the river system.
The Northwest Barrier has 94 grilse and 56 large salmon to Sept. 23, compared with 131 grilse and 48 large salmon in 2017. The numbers remain low, but the number of multi-sea-winter salmon is creeping up, and at least is better than 2017.
While many of the counting fences have been shut down, apparently a Didson unit has been put in place on the Campbellton River. Numbers below are to Sept. 23, but appear to be identical to those reported for Sept. 16.
Jason Valliere, Marine Resources Scientist for the Maine DMR, says:
River temps are finally down, with 15.5C this Wed. morning. We have had four new fish since the last report, two grilse and two Multi-Sea winter fish.
That brings our estimate to 743 at Milford and 757 total for the Penobscot! That number includes 475 Multi-Sea winter fish – two of which were repeat spawners, and 282 grilse.
Only other things we have seen using the fishway are a few smallmouth bass and some white suckers.