Our History

On October 8th, 1953, a small group of conservation-minded pioneers, all who shared a common love for the Miramichi and who feared for its future, registered a fledgling new organization called the Miramichi Salmon Association, Inc. (MSA). The group, made up of anglers, guides, camp owners, commercial outfitters and sporting good merchants, drafted a simple statement that declared as its mission; “the propagation, protection and perpetuation of the Atlantic salmon in the Miramichi River system”.  That fundamental goal still directs the programs and activities of the MSA today.

Through the persuasive voice of Jack Fenety, MSA President for 35 years, an intense lobbying effort was conducted to reduce bag limits on Atlantic salmon anglers, ban the angling for salmon from bridges, establish the mandatory use of flies only for angling salmon, create closed fishing zones in the headwaters to protect spawning salmon and ban the commercial net fishing for salmon. Under the leadership of Mr. Fenety, the MSA sponsored the reconstruction of the federal salmon hatchery in the early 1980’s and later under the leadership of President Bud Bird, the MSA took over the operation of the facility in 1997.

By the turn of the century, the MSA hired a full-time president, Mark Hambrook, to run the hatchery facility and to start an aggressive campaign to halt the decline of salmon stocks, first by inventorying the number of young salmon (smolts) migrating from the Miramichi River to the ocean, counting the juvenile salmon in the river and targeting the low density areas with salmon stocks from the hatchery.

Now under the direction of our president, Butch Dalton, the MSA continues to grow as a leading ‘on-the-river’ conservation organization, whose vision resonates with all of its supporters; that our great natural capital – the river and the salmon – can be cared for and enhanced so that their natural health and abundance can be increased and perpetuated in value into the future.


Our Mission Statement

Exemplary, river-based leadership, stewardship and conservation practices for the Miramichi Watershed to continuously preserve and balance its environmental integrity for the benefit of all native species, in particular the Atlantic salmon.


Our Mandate

Since 1953, the MSA and its members have directed their capabilities and their funds to the protection of the entire Miramichi River system.

For seven decades, the MSA has watched over the Miramichi as a champion of conservation on behalf of anglers, outfitters, guides and all others with economic, environmental and recreational interests in the river.

Managed by volunteers from Canada, the USA and abroad, as officers and directors, the MSA remains cooperative with, but independent of, government or special interests influence. It responds in the end only to its growing conservation membership.

The net result is a well-managed river system that today, thanks in part to the MSA's championing of its cause, has more miles of salmon angling water and traditionally holds larger and healthier populations of Atlantic salmon than most salmon rivers in North America.


Our Governance

The Miramichi Salmon Association is made up of two separate organizations, namely the Miramichi Salmon Association, Inc. and a sister organization in the US called the Miramichi Salmon Association (US), Inc. Each is a registered not-for profit charitable organization in their respective country and is overseen and managed by a volunteer Board of Directors. The MSA owns a subsidiary company, Miramichi Fisheries Management (MFM) that manages the Miramichi Salmon Conservation Centre (MSCC), located in South Esk, NB.


Our Land Use Policy

1. To continue to work with individuals and industries to respect and improve the environment in relation to protecting Atlantic salmon habitat; and

2. To advocate for stringent regulations to protect the Atlantic salmon, its habitat, and the continuous monitoring and effective enforcement of these regulations.


Our Climate Change Policy

Whereas it is widely accepted that our changing climate is having deleterious effects on Eastern North America’s populations of wild Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar), including the Miramichi salmon as well as many other important fish and aquatic species found within the Miramichi River watershed; and whereas the mission of the Miramichi Salmon Association (MSA) is to provide ‘global-class leadership, stewardship and conservation practices for the Miramichi Watershed to continuously preserve and advance its environmental integrity for the benefit of all species, in particular the Atlantic salmon’; be it resolved, the Miramichi Salmon Association (MSA) Board of Directors and Staff will incorporate climate change considerations and mitigating conservation actions into its corporate and operational DNA, including but not limited to;

1. Staying current with ‘climate change’ science, in particular its negative impact on wild anadromous fish, in particular wild Atlantic salmon, trout and other important Miramichi River fish species.

2. To continuously evaluate and minimize its ‘carbon footprint’ when determining and/or undertaking any field programs and/or organizational administrative duties and activities.

3. To continuously work at reducing and/or conserving the use of both renewable and non-renewable resources throughout its physical buildings, offices and hatchery operations, including the type(s) of equipment purchased/utilized.

4. To maintain a vigorous recycling effort within its physical buildings, offices and hatchery operations.

5. To invest in conservation activities/projects that will help mitigate the negative threats and impacts our changing climate is having on the Miramichi River’s salmon and other fish populations.

6. To advocate for conservation-minded land use practices and the protection of priority landscape(s) throughout the Miramichi watershed by industry, government agencies and private land-owners.

7. To continuously work at educating the general public, particularly youth, about the growing threats and influences the changing climate is having on the Miramichi River watershed and its salmon and other fish populations.

8. To continuously promote the socio-economic benefits and importance a healthy and productive recreational salmon fishing industry provides to the Miramichi Valley region and the Province of New Brunswick.

9. To publish an annual update/summary of the various efforts and activities the organization has undertaken as a means of measuring how it has/is responding to the challenges of climate change.

10. To pursuing other climate change mitigation efforts and activities as they are identified.