DFO Finds Labrador Salmon Runs Declining


Federal survey finds Atlantic salmon population declining in Labrador rivers
PUBLISHED 26 July 2018

More bad news about Newfoundland and Labradorís Atlantic salmon: Federal scientists have recommended ending the retention fishery for all Labrador rivers as the population continues to steadily decline.

A fisheries report released Thursday found salmon returns are expected to be down across virtually all Labrador rivers by seasonís end, compared with the 2011 to 2015 average.

A report on Newfoundland rivers last week had similarly bleak findings, with all anticipating declining returns compared to 2011-15.

The provinceís salmon population has seen unprecedented declines over the last few years, with 2017 being the worst year on record due to 30 per cent decreases in returns in 80 per cent of the provinceís rivers.

Fisheries scientists recommend ending the salmon retention fishery in Labrador rivers, but continuing with catch-and-release as long as river temperatures remain lower than 18 C.

On July 20, federal fisheries officials heeded the advice of the departmentís scientists and closed Newfoundlandís rivers for retention angling for the rest of the season.

A decision on Labradorís rivers is expected in August.