First Nations Fisheries

The Atlantic Salmon Federation works with First Nations on a variety of projects designed to maintain healthy runs of Atlantic salmon, and protect those runs for all generations to come.

On the Cascapedia River in Quebec's Gaspé, Chief Guy Condo of the Gesgapegiag Band proved to be a leader for successfully entering into an agreement where gillnetting has been suspended for a four year period at the the mouth the river.

Guy Condo passed away in Feb. 2016, but his work on behalf of the Atlantic salmon and the Cascapedia River is a legacy for all.

This has allowed far more Atlantic salmon to reach their spawning beds, and in 2011 led to the river reaching egg densities more than 400% of minimum conservation levels. Where Atlantic salmon are so important to the culture of First Nations, this success story is one where everyone sees benefits.

When Chief Condo recognized that the salmon resource on the Cascapedia River was in decline, he surveyed band members to gauge their willingness to put on hold their right to fish for subsistence in exchange for job creation and economic development. With the overwhelming support of his band members, Chief Condo negotiated with local camp owners and the Quebec government this four-year suspension of the gill net fishery, and the success of the agreement has brought together all those wishing to restore wild Atlantic salmon to historic maximum numbers.

This gillnet suspension has been combined with a voluntary live release rate of more than 90% by anglers - and together this helps ensure the future health of the river and is a role model to be emulated on other Atlantic salmon rivers throughout eastern Canada.

ASF seeks out partnerships with First Nations where all partners win by having a successful outcome.