Research - In the Field http://asf.ca/research-in-the-field.html hourly 1 1970-01-01T00:00+00:00 Seeing Redd http://asf.ca/pc_url_38192378 <p class="plain">At this time of the year, fewer people are out on the river, but the salmon remain. They have moved from the holding pools to spawning grounds and are busy working towards future generations. Also on the river are salmon biologists, conservationists and anglers who are looking to see the results of that activity. When salmon spawn, the female dig depressions in the gravel, called a redds, in which to deposit her eggs. The male moves alongside the female over the redd and expresses his milt while she deposits her eggs. Thus they are fertilized as they sink into the depression. She then covers over the redd so that the eggs are protected from many predators while they develop over the winter.<br><br><img width="550" alt="" daid="17658789" src='//0104.nccdn.net/1_5/0fb/27e/069/Z' title="" height="387"><br><br>While the eggs are buried and hidden, the recently turned gravel is a giveaway to those who know what to look for (Lee is pointing to a redd in the photo). Many watershed associations, angling groups and biologists head out on the rivers around this time of year to count redds. They won't achieve exact number of eggs laid of course, typically only certain areas are surveyed, but it does give an idea of any given year's returns or useage of a reach compared to the past. It also provides eyes and ears on the rivers to look out for new obstructions or other impediments to migrating fish. The ASF's Geoff Giffin and Graham Chafe have recently been out with Lee Robinson of the Hammond River Angling Association counting redds on that river. I was there was just after a rise and fall in the water and redds were harder to spot as they had been re-silted and so didn't stand out as much. Geoff and the Hammond group covered a few kilometers of river and counted many redds, a good sign and always reassuring that spawning is continuing. <br><br>If you're interested, look to local watershed or angling groups to take part in a redd count, it is a great way to spend a late fall day wandering a river or stream and contributes to knowledge about our favourite fish species.<br><br><i>Graham Chafe, ASF Research.</i><br></p> Graham 2017-11-15T12:17:23-08:00 Seeing Redd Grates and Ladders http://asf.ca/pc_url_38164506 <p class="plain">At this point in the year, we don't have a lot of field work left, desk season is approaching. There are a few things left, temperature loggers across Charlotte County that need to be picked up and the Magaguadavic fishway needs checking a few times a week.<br><img width="400" alt="" daid="17644694" src='//0104.nccdn.net/1_5/273/06d/3e5/Z' title="" height="224"><br>The high winds and heavy rains of the past several days took the leaves off the trees, removing a lot of the colour from the landscape in the course of hours. When we checked the fishway over the weekend, it seemed like most of the leaves had ended up in there, clogging grates and threatening to hold back the flow. It also seemed that the high water and faster flows may have washed a few fish below the dam. The landlocked salmon here made its way back up the ladder, was quickly measured and photographed before continuing its way back to- the river.<br><br>We don't expect to see many more fish, but we'll keep checking until mid-December. At that point we'll bypass the research trap so fish can make their way freely into the river.<br><br><i>Graham Chafe, ASF Research.,</i><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br></p> Graham 2017-11-01T05:41:04-07:00 Grates and Ladders Great Scott http://asf.ca/pc_url_38125699 <p class="plain">The ASF Research Department has been tagging salmon kelts with pop-up satellite tags since 2012. These tags are archival, meaning that they record information every so often and store it on-board. Some archival tags need to <img width="250" align="left" daid="17626984" src='//0104.nccdn.net/1_5/1cd/008/1aa/callum.jpg' style="margin: 15px 15px 15px 0px;float: left" size="250" border="0">be retrieved in order to access that data, but in the case of pop-up archival satellite tags (PSATs), they can transmit the data. They 'pop-off' the fish at a pre-determined time, or when sensors suggest the fish has died, and float to the surface. From there, virtually anywhere on the planet, they can transmit to the ARGOS network of satelites. That network is used by scientists for all kinds of fascinating research.<br><br>In the spring of 2015, we tagged a kelt in the Northwest Miramichi River with a PSAT. Unfortunately we never received any transmissions from the tag. In the summer of 2016, we found out why. The tag had washed ashore on the Outer Hebrides, Scotland, where it happened to be found by young Calum McLeod. He noticed two things about the tag, that the antennae was broken and information on the tag asking finders to contact the ASF. He did just that and sent it back, along with some fishing stories and hand-drawn art of some of his catches.<br><br><img width="750" daid="17626960" src='//0104.nccdn.net/1_5/324/198/2a9/IMG_20160807_192317344.jpg' height="421" size="-1" border="0"><br><br>The data took some time to extract and analyse the data (more data is available for recovered tags than can be transmitted), but that process is complete now. The kelt in question was tagged in early May, went to see soon after and meandered towards Gaspe and Anticosti Island. Throughout June it moved along the north shore of the Gulf of St. Lawrence, out the Strait of Belle Isle and then offshore. By July it was way off West Greenland. Unfortunately at this point the data shows that it was predated. The temperature data after predation show much warmer temperatures than the surrounding water, warm enough to be consistent with a marine mammal.  The unfortunate truth for wild Atlantic salmon is that they are prey species for some other animals, however it is nice to know that this particular fish did reproduce at least once before meeting its fate.<br><img width="700" daid="17626953" src='//0104.nccdn.net/1_5/36f/2a9/2a0/148263-2015-Track.PNG' height="633" size="-1" border="0"><br>Thanks to Calum for keeping his eyes open that day on the beach and reaching out to us. The data from this tag will add to a growing knowledge base of the marine migration routes and diving behaviour of Atlantic salmon kelts as well as predation events.<br><br><i>Graham Chafe, ASF Research.</i><br></p> Graham 2017-10-11T10:11:24-07:00 Great Scott ASF's Jonathan Carr in Greenland http://asf.ca/pc_url_38105981 <p class="plain">Jonathan Carr, Executive Director of Research at the ASF, has been off in Greenland for a week laying the groundwork for possible future projects there. Our current tracking program does a great job of calculating survival and timing of juvenile and adult Atlantic salmon through the rivers, estuaries and Gulf of St. Lawrence but beyond that, things become a little tricky.<br><br><img width="400" daid="17618044" src='//0104.nccdn.net/1_5/255/288/34c/20170918_083447.jpg' height="300" border="0"><br><br>The smaller tags needed for juveniles simply cannot last long enough to assess much in the North Atlantic. Their batteries fade a little ways after passing the Strait of Belle Isle. The larger tags used with post-spawn adult salmon last about three years, which is much better. However, with receivers (used to detect passing tags) only placed as far as the Strait of Belle Isle, observing movement in the northern North Atlantic is still lacking. We do see those fish return - if they return - as alternate spawners. But again, receiver placement limits our information. It would not be logistically and financially feasible to cover enough sections of the North Atlantic with receivers.<br><br><img width="400" daid="17618045" src='//0104.nccdn.net/1_5/255/288/34c/IMG_1320.JPG' height="225" border="0"></p><p class="plain"><i>Qaqortoq in southwest Greenland. Photo Jonathan Carr/ASF</i><br><br><b>Satellite tags</b> have proven their usefulness and we have tracks of our satellite-tagged kelts reaching Greenland waters. Jonathan is in southwest Greenland investigating the potential to catch and satellite tag large salmon so we can investigate their winter activities and return journey towards North American rivers. <br></p><p class="plain"><br></p><p class="plain">The photos he sent show a beautiful land and it isn't hard to imagine the salmon swimming offshore. If feasible, tracking salmon from Greenland waters back to North America would cover an important part of their life history that is not currently well-known. As the gaps in understanding the Atlantic salmon's fascinating migration are filled in, the more knowledge we have to manage and fight for the species we care so much about.<br><br><i>Graham Chafe, ASF Research.</i><br></p> Graham 2017-09-26T09:38:47-07:00 ASF's Jonathan Carr in Greenland Survey Says http://asf.ca/pc_url_38094197 <p class="plain">Juvenile surveys in southwest New Brunswick have continued in the last two weeks and we have just wrapped them up for the year. We've been electrofishing on five Outer Bay of Fundy rivers, the Dennis, Digdeguash, New, Pocologan and Magaguadavic. Last year we saw almost no salmon, but the water then was so low and warm that fish may have vacated our usual sites for better habitat. This year looked to be the same, the Digdeguash was even lower than last year, but we did find juvenile salmon in several locations. While it appears that populations are very low, they seem to be holding in some of the rivers. Other than the Magaguadavic, these are short, small rivers through mostly forested and rural some rural areas.<br><img width="600" daid="17613279" src='//0104.nccdn.net/1_5/2ee/08d/219/Wood-Turtle-Sep-2017-Digdeguash.jpg' height="390" size="-1" border="0"><br><br>Along with the juvenile salmon, we found lots of brook trout, blacknose dace, smallmouth bass, white sucker, creek chub and a lone burbot.. And on the way in to one site, we happened upon a good-sized wood turtle climbing up a hill, always nice to see.<br><br>The juvenile surveys would not be possible without the support of the New Brunswick Wildlife Trust Fund. They have supported this work for many years and the result is an on-going assessment of the otherwise un-monitored rivers for salmon in particular, but also whatever else we see. We appreciate their help, if you're interested in learning more about them, visit their website at http://www.nbwtf.ca <br><br><i>Graham Chafe, ASF Research.</i><br></p> Graham 2017-09-20T10:11:40-07:00 Survey Says Bienvenue Clement http://asf.ca/pc_url_38014388 <p class="plain">Over the past three years, students from Agrocampus Ouest, a university in Rennes, France have come to work with us for a term. This year is no different as we welcome Clement Taron to the Research Department. He arrived later on Monday and by Tuesday morning we had him electro-fishing on the Pocologan River.  With all of the rains that were expected, we'd gone out for long days of juvenile surveys before the water levels increased too much. Along with salmon parr, we found a lot of brook trout of all sizes, white sucker, creek chub, blacknose dace and even a wood turtle.<br><br><img width="400" daid="17578506" src='//0104.nccdn.net/1_5/144/27f/11b/Clement.JPG' border="0"><br><br>Clement will be working with us in several areas as well as undertaking one bigger project. He'll be here until January so he should get in a bit of proper winter as well.<br><br><i>Graham Chafe, ASF Research.</i><br></p> Graham 2017-09-08T05:05:48-07:00 Bienvenue Clement The ASF Team http://asf.ca/pc_url_37865699 <p class="plain"><img width="350" alt="" align="left" daid="17509427" src='//0104.nccdn.net/1_5/2a7/300/2b3/Z' style="margin: 15px 15px 15px 0px;float: left" title="" height="620">Last week ASF staff from around Atlantic Canada and New England got together for a few days at headquarters in Chamcook, NB. With ASF staff spread all over the place it can be hard to find a chance to speak with co-workers in person. Even at our offices in Chamcook, people are often traveling and we might not bump into each other for weeks despite our offices being meters apart.<br><br>So we held a few days of meetings to discuss current and recent projects as well as what is coming up in the future. As always, everyone is excited at what is to come with our work. OF course, it wasn't only work, many of us managed to get out for a few hours on a local whale watching boat. While we only saw one minke whale and lots of porpoises, we did manage to have a great time and everyone enjoyed the evening.<br><br><br><br>Now that we're back in the office and field, we're looking ahead to bringing in the rest of the acoustic gear for 2017. One of the Strait of Belle Isle lines should come out this week, weather permitting (never a sure bet up there). The Chaleur line will come in late this week or early next week. That leaves the second Strait of Belle Isle line and a few things here and there to collect. Now that the nights are cooling off, we're going to be starting electrofishing surveys in the coming weeks as well. Then the results, analysis and planning as the cycle starts again.<br><br><i>Graham Chafe, ASF Research.</i><br></p> Graham 2017-08-23T09:40:37-07:00 The ASF Team ASF Biologists in a big ocean http://asf.ca/pc_url_37833246 <p class="plain">by Eric Brunsdon<br><br>It was early July and as tagged Atlantic salmon left their natal rivers in May, they were just arriving at the Strait of Belle Isle near the northern tip of Newfoundland. <br><br>In the next few weeks the majority of postsmolts passed through the strait, and for ASF researchers this signals that it is time for receivers to be retrieved and data downloaded. <br><br><img daid="17497056" src='//0104.nccdn.net/1_5/2d5/0c0/083/searching-for-buoys.jpg' size="-1" border="0"><br><i>Finding the buoys is the first challenge in the rain, and sometimes waves.</i><br><br>Two of our receiver lines, known as Strait of Belle Isle South (24 receivers) and Strait of Bell Isle North (28 receivers) span the entire width of this channel between Newfoundland and Labrador, a distance of about 30 km. Over the next week anchors and receivers were hauled, data was downloaded, and receivers were redeployed to continue monitoring postsmolts as they migrate toward the Atlantic Ocean. <br><br></p><div align="center" class="plain"><img width="400" daid="17497057" src='//0104.nccdn.net/1_5/2d5/0c0/083/receivers.jpg' height="400" size="400" border="0"></div><div align="center" class="plain"><i>A line of receivers picks up the sonic signal of passing postsmolts and kelts.</i><br></div><br>In perfect weather, getting this done should take a couple of days. But as we’ve learned from our time working in the strait, there is nothing “usual” about the weather. <br><br><img daid="17497058" src='//0104.nccdn.net/1_5/2d5/0c0/083/iceberg02.jpg' size="-1" border="0"><br><i>Icebergs were just one of the hazards of working in the Strait of Belle Isle.</i><br><br>Strong winds, big waves and rain made locating and downloading receivers difficult and completely halted work for days. We are used to dealing with the elements but this year was especially windy with extremely rough seas. <br><br>Once the weather finally improved, we were able to quickly finish the last of the mid season downloads, loving every moment of sunny skies and calm oceans. No matter what the weather though, you can’t help but appreciate the scenery, terrain and wildlife in Newfoundland. <br><br><img daid="17497476" src='//0104.nccdn.net/1_5/021/020/0fb/eric-deploying.jpg' size="-1" border="0"><br><i>Eric Brunsdon earlier this year, deploying receivers. Units consist of unit with connected anchor, and float.</i><br><br>The data is back at home base, and we can start analyzing it from the comfort of an office chair with a faint reminder that we are still just little fish in a big pond when it comes to the outdoor elements.<br><br><p class="plain"></p> Atlantic Salmon Federation 2017-08-11T07:55:35-07:00 ASF Biologists in a big ocean Farewell Heather http://asf.ca/pc_url_37697635 <p class="plain">This is the last week of work for ASF Biologist Heather Dixon. Heather has been with us for just over a year and has contributed to all of our projects in that time. From electrofishing in  southwest New Brunswick to smolt tagging in the Miramichi, she has seen a bit of everything we do. That isn't to say she hasn't also spent a lot of time in front of a screen, analyzing data and preparing reports (it's not all field work around here).<img width="1000" alt="" daid="17415185" src='//0104.nccdn.net/1_5/3e2/2c0/12d/Z' title="" height="750"><br>Though from Britain originally, Heather came to us from southern Ontario where she set down some roots. After finishing her PhD, she moved to New Brunswick to work with us, but will now be heading back to Ontario to begin a position as a Research Associate in Arctic Biomonitoring at the University of Waterloo.<br><br>Best of luck Heather, keep your eyes out for any ASF pop-up tags when you're up north on field work.<br><br><i>Graham Chafe, ASF Research.</i><br></p> Graham 2017-07-25T06:46:37-07:00 Farewell Heather Retreiving the Data With a Small Boat http://asf.ca/pc_url_37632384 <p class="plain"><b>Graham Chafe, ASF Biologist</b></p><p class="plain"><br></p><p class="plain">Now that Atlantic salmon smolts and kelts have passed through to the open ocean from the <b>Miramichi</b>, it is time to bring up the units and download the data.</p><p class="plain"><br><iframe allowfullscreen webkitallowfullscreen width="640" mozallowfullscreen frameborder="0" src="https://player.vimeo.com/video/224507522" height="360"></iframe><br><br></p> Atlantic Salmon Federation 2017-07-12T11:10:52-07:00 Retreiving the Data With a Small Boat North-Bound http://asf.ca/pc_url_37622322 <p class="plain">ASF's tracking program encompasses kelts and smolts. The kelt tags, due to their larger size, can last up to three years. The smolt tags are much, much smaller and last a little over 100 days. With kelts, we can track the fish out of the river and back in again the next year if they are consecutive spawners or the year after if they are alternate, or even a combination of the two. Smolts can only be tracked to the Strait of Belle Isle, the batteries don't last too far past that. After they pass the strait, the now post-smolts face their first winter at sea and that is what we, and others, are concerned about. Survival through their first winter is an important issue and is also one of the hardest to investigate due to the length of time, remoteness, limitations of technology and sheer size of the North Atlantic. <br><br><img width="800" alt="" daid="17378556" src='//0104.nccdn.net/1_5/3be/2fa/2c5/9k-' title="" height="600"><br><br>A new ASF project aims to investigate the potential of reducing the unknown time by catching and tagging post-smolts in the Strait of Belle Isle. The fish that were 13cm when they left the Southern Gulf of St. Lawrence rivers in May will be larger by the time they cross the strait in July. Tags that are even just a bit bigger can have a much longer battery life, so we are undertaking a reconnaissance mission to the strait in 2017, so if feasible, we can make plans for 2018.<br><br>Eric and James are driving up to Green Island Cove, where our receiver line is, with a ton of gear. They will be using a trawl net fitted with a custom box at the end that will keep any fish caught out of the current and safe from harm. It is a preliminary trip, but we have high hopes for proof of concept. Thanks to Justin, Tim and others from the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in Maine for exploring this idea and particularly for sharing experiences with the trawl. The equipment was new to us and being able to go out on a trawl in Penobscot Bay was a great help in preparing for this trip. At-sea mortality is a big issue for salmon in their first winter and we aim to reduce the knowledge gap with this project.<br><br><i> Graham Chafe, ASF Research.</i><br><br></p> Graham 2017-07-06T07:29:29-07:00 North-Bound Waiting on the Weather http://asf.ca/pc_url_37575599 <p class="plain">It's a different world up in the Strait of Belle Isle. While those of us in southern New Brunswick are basking in the sun today, the folks in northern Newfoundland are a little bit cooler. The ASF's Director of Newfoundland and Labrador Programs has been waiting for the weather to clear to deploy our acoustic tracking equipment in the strait. He and Loomis Way, a local fisherman who has been taking us out to deploy and recover gear for years have everything ready by he wharf, but they can't leave the harbour.<br><img width="600" alt="" daid="17355880" src='//0104.nccdn.net/1_5/221/1d8/05d/9k-' title="" height="450"><br><br><br>If all things went according to plan, and they never quite do, this line of equipment would have been out by now. First, they had to wait for the ice to clear, since then it has been waves, wind or fog that has kept them high and dry. This morning, Don mentioned that they had to move their cars off the wharf as waves were crashing right over it. There is still time left before the kelts tend to arrive so all is far from lost. The smolts will pass through a little later than the kelts and by late August, the gear will have been removed for the season again. Looks like they might get on the water Friday, fingers crossed.<br><br><i>Graham Chafe, ASF Research.</i><br><br><br></p> Graham 2017-06-21T11:32:41-07:00 Waiting on the Weather The King of Fish, Far from the Sea http://asf.ca/pc_url_37540408 <p class="plain">Last week I was in our nation's capital and found myself wandering the Byward Market. On the corner of Murray and Sussex, just across from the American embassy and up from the National Gallery of Canada, I found a small, bright store full of rare and antiquarian books. While talking to the store's owner, I wandered the aisles around the shelf-ladders and glanced at titles. Arctic exploration, Irish history (no doubt mentioning the Miramichi area), natural history and atlases all grabbed my attention for a time but one section really jumped out at me, the one on angling.<br><img width="400" align="" daid="17339003" src='//0104.nccdn.net/1_5/365/329/2f1/Angling-Books-McGaherns-Used-and-Rare-Books-June-2017--3-.jpg' border="0"><br><br>At first I saw "How To Tie Salmon Flies" by a Captain Hale, followed by "Return To The River" by Haig-Brown and "Let's Go Fishing" by Lee Wulf. All older, early run hard covers, all carefully maintained and behind glass, they sat there as proof of the Atlantic salmon's ability to grab the attention and imagination of generations of anglers and conservationists. Books are still being written about the species that we all care so much about and it was good to see that the older knowledge and experiences were well kept for future generations. I wonder if Captain Hale's flies are as effective now as he found them in 1892.<br><br><i>Graham Chafe, ASF Research.<br><br></i></p> Graham 2017-06-13T06:51:26-07:00 The King of Fish, Far from the Sea Smolts Away! http://asf.ca/pc_url_37522144 <p class="plain">The last of the 2017 smolts have been tagged and released this week. Eric and Kelsey were on the Grand Cascapedia for a couple of days earlier this week. Despite all the difficulties the locals faced with the high waters, they managed to get the smolt wheel out for us to keep our time series of records from that river.<br><br><br> <img width="400" align="" daid="17327905" src='//0104.nccdn.net/1_5/39e/32e/2b4/Kelsey-Casc-Smolt-Release-2017.JPG' border="0"><br><br>They tagged and released 60 smolts, 20 more than the usual. The receivers in the mouth of the river as well as Chaleur Bay are deployed and waiting for the little fish to pass by. That's the end of the spring fieldwork, but we're not resting on our laurels. We're monitoring the up and downstream passage facilities on the Magaguadavic and mid-season downloads of Miramichi gear will take place pretty soon. The Strait of Belle Isle line will go out in a week and ahalf and at the beginning of July, Eric will be headed up there to do some investigation of post-smolts as they pass the strait. It isn't always super-busy, but it is never slow<i>.<br></i></p><div align="left" class="plain"><br><i>Graham Chafe, ASF Research.</i><br></div><p class="plain"></p> Graham 2017-06-01T11:51:34-07:00 Smolts Away! Smolts Ready to Bolt http://asf.ca/pc_url_37510364 <p class="plain">The field work continued this week as the smolt runs had started in strength on both branches of the Miramichi River. Heather is on the Northwest, tagging smolt near Trout Brook. I've just returned from the Main Southwest where we released 80 tagged smolt. In both cases the fish were caught and relesed in the same location. Thanks to staff at the Miramichi Salmon Association and Rocky Brook camp for all their help with this project.</p><p class="plain"><br></p><p class="plain"><a rel="" link="" target="_blank" href="https://vimeo.com/218812341" class="plain"><iframe allowfullscreen webkitallowfullscreen width="640" mozallowfullscreen frameborder="0" src="https://player.vimeo.com/video/218812341" height="360"></iframe></a></p> Graham 2017-05-24T09:30:26-07:00 Smolts Ready to Bolt Down But Not Out. http://asf.ca/pc_url_37488396 <p class="plain">The enormous rains over Eastern Canada over the past week have left (or maybe they haven't left yet) the rivers high and the tags dry. Conditions are difficult and dangerous for anglers in many places and we haven't been able to tag the kelts as we normally would. The Restigouche and Cascapedia Rivers are in such a state that we're not sure conditions will allow us to tag before the salmon leave the river. This is a yearly activity that would normally be done by about now, but we're still waiting to go.<br><img width="400" align="" daid="17308409" src='//0104.nccdn.net/1_5/00c/1ad/232/IMG_20170510_1059176.jpg' border="0"><br><br>Not all is lost however, eight kelts were acoustically tagged on the Northwest Miramichi on Friday. Thanks go as always to the volunteer anglers who caught the fish for the exercise. We were planning on tagging 25 on each of the three rivers, so eight isn't great, but when working with wild animals and in the field, things don't always go as planned.<br><img width="400" daid="17308410" src='//0104.nccdn.net/1_5/00c/1ad/232/Kirsten-R-NW-Mir-Kelt-Tagging-May-2017.jpg' border="0"><br><br>We'll keep a weather eye on conditions and the outllook and maybe we'll get out again. Otherwise it will be on to smolt tagging on the same three rivers, hopefully the rivers don't stay too high for the smolt wheels to operate for too long, we'd like to see the entire range of the runs and not just the tail end. Fingers crossed.<br><br><i>Graham Chafe, ASF Research.</i><br></p> Graham 2017-05-10T09:34:39-07:00 Down But Not Out. River Takes Early Series Lead, Anglers Look to Rebound in Game 2 http://asf.ca/pc_url_37474818 <p class="plain">This blog could also have been titled "Muddy Waters Sings the Blues". Despite a great showing by volunteers on the Northwest Miramichi on Sunday, anglers were skunked and no fish were tagged. The water was very high and looked more like a double double than a salmon river.  The continued rains continue to keep the water high so as of now, we're planning to try again on Friday and Saturday, May 5th and 6th. The forecast suggests a lot of rain on Saturday, but if people will fish, the water won't have risen yet and it might be okay. <br><img width="400" align="left" daid="17301396" src='//0104.nccdn.net/1_5/0a3/351/153/Big-Water-Miramichi-30-April-017.jpg' style="margin: 15px 15px 15px 0px;float: left" border="0"><br>If you or someone you know are interested in angling and helping out near Red Bank on Friday and/or Saturday, please contact me by email; gchafe@asf.ca I can then update folks if the situation changes.<br><br><br><br><br>The Restigouche and Cascapedia Rivers are in the same situation, so we won't be trying them until next week.   Hopefully conditions improve by then. <br><br><i>Graham Chafe, ASF Research.</i><br></p> Graham 2017-05-02T10:45:12-07:00 River Takes Early Series Lead, Anglers Look to Rebound in Game 2 Ready, Set, Go. http://asf.ca/pc_url_37461387 <p class="plain">This week begins a flurry of field work for the Research Department that will see us tagging on three rivers, deploying equipment in fresh and sea water and travelling from southwest New Brunswick to Newfoundland and possibly beyond.<img width="400" align="" daid="17294934" src='//0104.nccdn.net/1_5/151/268/284/Gear-Prep-2017.jpg' border="0"><br><br>Weeks of preparation paid off this morning at 6am when Mike and Eric left with the boat to go deploy acoustic receivers in the Miramichi River.They'll be back in a day or two, only to pick up more gear and head north again. If all goes well the Chaleur line will be out this weekend followed by more in the Miramichi, Restigouche and Cascapedia Rivers.<br><br><img width="400" daid="17294935" src='//0104.nccdn.net/1_5/151/268/284/PSAT-harness-Prep-2017.jpg' border="0"><br><br>For my part, I've been preparing the tags and tagging equipment. I'll be leaving early Sunday morning for Red Bank on the Miramichi where we hope to acoustically tag 25 kelts from the Northwest on Sunday and Monday. We rely on volunteer anglers to capture the fish so anyone in the area can look for ASF and MSA staff on the river and at the Red Bank boat launch if you want to help out. We couldn't do this without the volunteer anglers and we really appreciate the help from everyone that lends a hand. It is always a fun and interesting couple of days and it looks like the weather will be good this year.<br><br>From there, I'll be headed to the Restigouche River for another 25 tags on Tuesday and Wednesday where we'll be happy to have any help we can get with the angling. We'll be stationed on the Quebec side, just up from the Matapedia and easy to find. Once that is done I'm off to the Cascapedia with the last 25 kelt tags. One week, three great rivers and hopefully 75 beautiful salmon.<br><br><i>Graham Chafe, ASF Research.</i><br></p> Graham 2017-04-25T06:53:10-07:00 Ready, Set, Go. You Know Nothing, Jon Snow http://asf.ca/pc_url_37437451 <p class="plain">The spring and open water are in sight. Though the winter wasn't too harsh for many of us, it is always nice to feel the sun and see it warm things up. Many of the rivers in southern New Brunswick have been free for a few weeks but the lakes are still quiet under the ice.<img width="400" align="" daid="17282370" src='//0104.nccdn.net/1_5/1ca/180/2af/Chamcook-Lake-Ice.jpg' border="0"><br><br>Along with the warm weather, the ASF Research Department is getting ready to head out across Atlantic Canada for field work. It is always an exciting and hectic time of year. Despite the best planning, the season seems to sneak up on us. We have more on deck than usual this year so even more preparations are required. Mike is hard at work rigging up the receiver deployments and getting the boats ready, Jason and Heather are trying to get as much 'winter' stuff done before we head out of the office for a few weeks and Eric and I are planning logistics and readying equipment. Lots to do but we'll be ready.<br><br>First up will be deployments as soon as the ice is more or less out followed quickly (and potentially before if the ice doesn't cooperate) will be kelt tagging. This year we'll be tagging post-spawn salmon on three rivers instead of two. Cascapedia kelts will join the ranks of tracked fish for us this year and we're excited to compare timing and patterns to our two more established tracking rivers.<br><br>A few weeks yet to go, but as nobody ever said on Game of Thrones, "Spring is Coming".<br><br><i>Graham Chafe, ASF Research.</i><br><br></p> Graham 2017-04-12T06:56:28-07:00 You Know Nothing, Jon Snow Across the Pond and Far Afield http://asf.ca/pc_url_37395085 <p class="plain">Despite the snow and cold winds these days, the 2017 field season has officially begun. The crew was recently up at the Miramichi Salmon Association to start the season's tagging. In the fall, the MSA caught some pre-smolts on both main branches of the river and has been holding them over winter in the hatchery. We tagged some of these fish last week and will continue to hold them until spring. While the smolt run is going strong in May, we'll tag some more that were held over winter and also our regular batch of smolts that are descending the river at that time. The idea is to tease out tag effects from the performance of the fish in the spring. The comparison of the different tagging treatments will help increase the understanding and accuracy of smolt survival, something that garners quite a lot of interest.<br><br><img alt="" daid="17254516" src='//0104.nccdn.net/1_5/1f8/289/300/Z' title=""><br>ASF Biologist Jason Daniels was in England this week at Berwick-Upon-Tweed attending and presenting at the From Headwater to Headland: Improving Smolt Survival in Rivers and Estuaries conference. It was hosted by the Atlantic Salmon Trust and the Tweed Foundation. Held to address key issues of improving salmon and sea trout smolt survival during the all-important early stages of their migration in rivers and estuaries. It is a subject and an issue that resonates on both sides of the Atlantic. Jason presented on ASF work entitled "Estimating Consumption of Acoustically Tagged Atlantic Salmon Smolt in the MIramichi River". It was a good chance to see what was working and to share ideas with researchers from other area sharing the same problems.<br><br><br><i>Graham Chafe, ASF Research</i><br></p> Graham 2017-03-17T06:01:47-07:00 Across the Pond and Far Afield