Barriers and traps following the storm

Hi All

Well Tropical Storm Arthur hit Miramichi much harder than predicted and not only damaged homes and infrastructure but also caused havoc on the rivers. Water levels rose above spring high levels interrupting many fishing trips and destroying some important science equipment. The Sunday after the storm was the changeover day for the Crown Reserve stretches and many anglers spent hours cutting the fallen trees off of the roads to get out of the camps.

Barriers / Traps
The Dungarvon Barrier was completely wiped out on Saturday the 5th – at 1 PM the trash fence and upper barrier failed followed by the lower barrier and trap and the trap was washed downstream. Clean up and salvage has taken place and all material was removed from the river. Water levels are now down to a level that work can begin on reinstalling the upper barrier and trash fence. Thus no fish were counted this week.

Dungarvon Barrier Counts as of July 6th 2014

Grilse  (to 63 cm) Small Salmon (64-84 cm)  Large Salmon (>84 cm)   Total Small &  Large    All  Atlantic Salmon Brook Trout
2014 to Date     40       10     29     39     79  23
Previous Year    149      72     111     183     332   48

At the Northwest barrier water topped the trap – there was some damage but all barriers held. There were no counts for Sunday and Monday following the storm but the rest of the week did see fish arriving. Numbers are still very low as compared to the same time last year.

Northwest Barrier Counts as of July 13th

Grilse  (to 63 cm) Small Salmon (64-84 cm)  Large Salmon (>84 cm)   Total Small &  Large    All  Atlantic Salmon Brook Trout
2014 to Date     71       30     14     44     115  765
Previous Year     105      66     95     161     266   1029

The Millerton trap net was washed away but DFO has begun reinstalling. The Cassilis trap net survived as did the MSA trap net near Chatham.

The MSA trap in Chatham is fished Monday to Friday but following the storm we did not get out until Wednesday.

Day/Date # Salmon # Grilse
Wednesday July 9th 9 3
Thursday July 10th 7 15
Friday July 11th 11 16
Monday July 14th 2 6

We are tagging most of the fish caught in the trap to help with the adult assessment. If you catch a fish with a tag and want more information call me at 506.622.4000.

It is our understanding that the Chief and Council at Red Bank First Nation had voluntarily chosen not to fish gill nets for 2014. However, the trap nets were destroyed during the storm and are currently being reconstructed. We have heard that the fishermen are being allowed to fish gill nets and the numbers taken will be counted toward their allocation the same as if they were taken from the trap.

MSA Salmon Classic

The MSA Salmon Classic was held last week. Thirty-four anglers participated in this year’s 3-day fishing event, which included folks from all 3 Maritime provinces, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont and New York. In spite of the spring like flood conditions created by the heavy rains from tropical storm Arthur, participants hit the river each day, fishing a different section of the watershed each session. Though only a few fish were seen, everyone certainly appeared to enjoy this very unique and special Miramichi experience, with many first time participants already saying they’ll be back again next year! The MSA wishes to thank the participants and volunteer guides who helped make this year’s event such a great success!

High water reminds us to use a PFD

The recent spring flood like conditions created by Tropical Storm Arthur reminds us to remind you to wear a personal floatation device (PFD) whenever you are out in a boat this summer. The MSA sells a light-weight “horse collar” inflatable type life vest… visit MSA Life Vest or call 506-457-2220 if you might be interested in purchasing one for yourself or your fishing/boating companion.

Yours in Conservation