Sunday, 29 June 2008

Success Story of a Salmon Stream's Rehabilitation

Thought you might find this success story of a Salmon stream's rehabilitation of interest.

It is a report from the Sackville Rivers Association , now in their twentieth year.
Summary of Fisheries and Oceans involvement in the Sackville Rivers Association (SRA) from the early 1980s

  • Early 80s- DFO assesses fish populations in the Sackville River
  • 1986- DFO begins stocking Atlantic Salmon into the Sackville to recover their populations
  • 1988
    SRA formed (Shane O’Neil - founding Secretary Treasurer)
    DFO supports river clean ups hosted by SRA
  • 1990- Fish ladder built at the falls at Hefler’s Mill in collaboration with SRA, DFO, and National Gypsum and dedicated to Donny Cox, a DFO Assessment Biologist
  • 1991- DFO Science assesses fish populations (lead by DFO Science)
  • 1992-1996 - DFO runs a counting fence along the river at the DND Rifle Range to assess returning salmon adults
  • 1997- present
    SRA operates a trap at the fish ladder with technical assistance from DFO
    Atlantic Salmon captured at the fish ladder incorporated into the department’s stock enhancement program
    DFO supports students’ and interns’ activities on the river in collaboration with SRA (technical and in-kind assistance)
  • 1990s and into the 2000s
    About 315,000 Atlantic Salmon smolt and 320,000 parr have been released to restore salmon populations to this river after it was determined the population in the river was extirpated; largely supported with DFO funds and / or in-kind technical support
    Various in stream habitat improvements restore approximately 62,000 m2 of river habitat (Shayne’s Pool established in 2006 to celebrate the tireless work of Shayne McQuaid, Stewardship Coordinator, DFO Oceans, Habitat and Species at Risk Branch to restore the Sackville River)
    Education initiatives in the community and to schools such as River Rangers and Fish Friends are led by the SRA with DFO contributing in-kind and technical assistance and ASF help in the early stages (625 students annually from 25 HRM schools, Grades 4-6).
  • 2001- DFO agrees to SRA request that the department continue stocking with the use of unfed salmon fry from the Coldbrook hatchery and SRA operates the trap at the fish ladder and collects brood fish
  • 2003- Some unfed fry stocked for the first time
  • 2004- DFO stocks salmon smolt to the river because of fish kill (effort funded by industry)
  • 2007- DFO assists SRA in development of their Ecosystem Plan
  • 2008, ongoing- DFO has been instrumental in directing fish habitat compensation funds to the Sackville River Ecosystem Plan to support further habitat restoration efforts on the watershed

    High points:
    # salmon released - 635,000
    area of river restored to date - 62,000 m2
    # children touched by educational programs - 625 annually since 1990, 11,250 in total

Into the future:
Ecosystem Planning (SRA planning initiative to assure sustainable development of Sackville River watershed resulting from collaboration with DFO, other governmental organizations and non-governmental agencies, developers and the community)

Overall result:
Exponential increase in stewardship, care and recovery of the Sackville River since the ‘80s initiated and sustained by SRA receives ongoing support from DFO
SRA is a textbook example of community-based stewardship for Canada’s aquatic resources.

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Friday, 27 June 2008

Top Angling Site Award

Steve Dobson's Fisherman's Blog was awarded a "top angling site" award by another website - Land Big
If you click on the trophy their website will open.
It is an interesting website and I have not won a trophy for a long, long time so I could not resist posting it here. In fact, I did not know trophies even came without the bowlers on the top.

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Saturday, 21 June 2008

Learning a New Salmon River-The La Have in Nova Scotia

I am hoping to rendezvous with a fellow to do some salmon fishing on the La Have River in the next few days.
I have to run down to the South Shore anyway this weekend so if we have not managed to hook-up I will head out for a few flicks alone.
It is always interesting to prospect a new river for salmon. A pool that looks identical to one you have fished on other waters will rarely fish the same way. On some rivers, the fish will lay in front of the rocks or behind them or way the heck down at the end near the fast water below. You just never know until you have put your fly over every inch of likely and unlikely water. Having done that you will sit and scratch your head until a local fellow comes along and happens to mention that the fish in this river will only take a Rusty Rat anyway, not whatever that thing is, you are using.

I am doubtless heading for some embarrassment but I can always use the casting practice.

Oh yeah, I had better check my box and make sure I have at least one Rusty Rat.

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Friday, 20 June 2008

Remember the New Nova Scotia Salmon Fishing Regulations

I picked up my salmon license a couple of days ago. Larry at the shop was good enough to remind me about the regulation changes for this year.

The big change is barbless hooks are now mandatory in most salmon fishing situations here in Nova Scotia. The other thing is that the number of tags has been reduced to four this year.

That is pretty smart when you think about it. You have to be in possession of a tag to fish for salmon. Like me, many other Salmon anglers love the fall salmon season here which runs until the end of October. There is no way that someone who lives for fall fishing would use up his tags before then, so effectively the maximum number of fish he would consider tagging is really three- at least until sometime in the late afternoon of closing day.

Well done to the conservation minded anglers who pushed to have this change in the regulations.

I would love to see a catch and release license made available for Nova Scotia as they have in Quebec. The choice is there to catch and retain as well, but it comes at a premium.


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Saturday, 14 June 2008

Scientists find monkeys that know how to fish!

Any one else find this story funny?

Scientists find monkeys that know how to fish!

AP Photo

One of our species is obviously evolving. Not sure which until I find out whether they were using bait or flies.

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Friday, 13 June 2008

Summer Salmon on the LaHave River

  • With all the fun I have been having with Trout and Shad I have neglected to mention that the Summer Salmon season is getting underway.

    My fishing year has evolved to the point where it is easy to lay out, for planning purposes.

  • April is a bit of Trout fishing but mainly it is the month to moan about the weather and tie a few flies.
  • May is Trout fishing month until the last week, then it becomes Shad Mania until the middle of June.
  • July is often salmon fishing with my Dad and brothers in Labrador or Newfoundland.
  • August is spring-hole Trout and a lot of fly rodding for Smallmouth Bass.
  • September is fall salmon fishing time in Nova Scotia.
  • October is fall salmon catching time in Nova Scotia.

    There are some more months after October but since I do not do much hunting anymore, I am a bit vague on them.

    I’m like the kid from the South Shore here, who when asked by his teacher to name the four seasons started out,”There is Trout season, Deer season ….”

    For some reason I have never had much luck with early Salmon in Nova Scotia and so tend to get distracted by other opportunities. This year though I am studying up on the LaHave River.

With any luck, I will soon be posting some hero shots of Mitchell VanD or me, releasing LaHave Salmon.

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Monday, 9 June 2008

Dry Fly Trout and Wet Fly Shad

What a great day.
Dry fly fishing for trout until around 7:30 pm, then the shad started to roll. Took me a while to change from my old stand by to a lighter fly with chain bead instead of lead eyes.
When I did wow! What a pile of fish.
The trout fishing was good but the shad fishing was great.



My arm is sore and my face is locked into a goofy smile.

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Saturday, 7 June 2008

Centrepin Fishing - All About Finesse

I’ve been reading recently about a style of fishing that is totally new to me. It is called Centrepin fishing. I first heard it mentioned either in a comment at the Roughfisherman's Journal or over at Tony's, Time by the River.

Centrepin fishing is a technique developed by rough fishermen in the UK for tench and roach. It is a subtle, highly skilled way to present bait, or a fly, drag free.

It turns out that the Steelheaders in Ontario are starting to use the technique with tremendous success.

Any method that can facilitate a drag free drift for the entire length of a pool would probably be deadly for summer salmon here in the Maritimes too.

Here is my understanding of how it works.
The components are a reel, a very long rod and a float. Different floats are used under different conditions.

The finely machined reel which looks like a fly reel built by a Swiss watchmaker is attached to the long rod. The reel is set up so that the line runs freely from the reel with the pull of current. The long rod keeps the line off of the surface; it lets you use a much lighter line and also allows for ten or twelve foot leaders between the float and the fly.

The bit that really caught my interest was the idea of long, drag free drifts. To be honest, what is it we fly fishermen spend our entire fishing lives trying to master? It has to be controlling drag. A few feet of a drag free drift is often cause for delight, a consistent ten feet would make us start to feel like we knew what we were doing but just imagine, a hundred feet of perfect presentation. The mind boggles.

I have got to try this.

I’m hoping somebody will comment on what happens when you get a take.
How the heck do you play a fish on a rig like this?

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Sunday, 1 June 2008

Nice Trout Rising

Tangled with some some nice trout today- lots rising.

Crappy weather but nice to be out anyway. Very peaceful on the water. Plenty of wildlife around, everything from a couple of deer to an osprey.

Changed up to Shad gear to investigate a deep run and they were pretty willing too.

Should have mowed the lawn but it really wasn't a nice enough day to do yard work...

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