Consultations on Atlantic Salmon Species at Risk

A scientific assessment of the risk status of 16 populations of wild Atlantic salmon in Canada has been completed by COSEWIC.  COSEWIC assessed the Atlantic salmon as extinct, extirpated, endangered, threatened, special concern, data deficient, or not at risk based on populations in groupings of rivers called DESIGNATABLE UNITS (DUs).  With the assessment complete, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) has embarked on a public consultation process asking for comments on the potential benefits or impacts of adding  Atlantic salmon populations to the List of Wildlife Species at Risk under the Species at Risk Act. The purposes of this Act are to prevent wildlife species from becoming extinct, to provide for their recovery and to conserve biological diversity.  Important background documents, including assessment report, maps, and outline of the process, are available below as they occur. (To reach ASF's general Species at Risk page, click here)

COSEWIC and Related Background Documents

Full Canada Atlantic Salmon Assessment 2.8MB
Map (large version) of Designatable Units (DU) 644.4KB
Rivers within each DESIGNATABLE UNIT (DU) 121.8KB
Species at Risk Process - Oct 2012 Update 84.2KB


  • First consultation to take place
  • DFO is taking the lead on conducting the Species at Risk Process and consultations, and has chosen to break it up, with four different regional offices taking the lead.
    • The TIMETABLE and details of process appear to be entirely different in each region, and not coordinated
    • SPECIAL CONCERN: For DUs potentially given a designation of SPECIAL CONCERN, DFO will consider modification of management practices, together with monitoring of populations to reduce further declines, and to improve potential for greater runs in future.
    • THREATENED, and AT RISK: For these DUs, DFO must develop a RECOVERY POTENTIAL ASSESSMENT document, outlining existing and potential threats, and management changes to increase numbers. Part of this will be an end to harvesting activity, if it presently exists.
    • PUBLIC CONSULTATIONS - The public consultations will be rolling out through 2013 and 2014. Of those designated AT RISK OR THREATENED, some will have a RECOVERY POTENTIAL ASSESSMENT document to react to - and others will not, due to it not being prepared in time. In addition, there may be a socio-economic assessment for Threatened or At Risk DUs.
    • Listings below will detail the DU consultations as the come by.


  • Consultations for FIVE REGIONS are occurring at one time - four involving Quebec, and one involving Quebec, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia.
  • SPECIAL CONCERN: QC Eastern North Shore, QC Western North Shore, Inner St. Lawrence, Gaspe-Southern Gulf of St. Lawrence. NOTE that last region includes all rivers from tip of Gaspe to north tip of Cape Breton, including many NB and NS rivers in between.
  • ENDANGERED: Anticosti Island - NOTE that RECOVERY POTENTIAL ASSESSMENT has not been released.
  • Consultation Period to March 1, 2013.
  • To comment on any of the designations for these five regions in Quebec and Atlantic Canada, click here

Downloadable Documents on Quebec and Gulf DUs

5 DU Official Pamphlet 1.5MB
FQSA Views on the SARA Process 32.5KB



  • THREATENED designation proposed
  • Consultation Period not announced
  • RECOVERY POTENTIAL ASSESSMENT document published (see below)

South Coast NL - RPA Document 667.3KB