Winter has most definitely come to the Miramichi Salmon Conservation Center! Even though we are up to our ears in snow, there are still many exciting things happening at the hatchery! The trout fry are hatching and will soon be moved from their incubation trays when they are ready to start feeding; they will be fed every hour throughout the day and will require plenty of care to grow big and strong! Our salmon eggs are still incubating and won’t hatch until spring, but they are starting to eye and will be able to be counted in February. The 2020 field programs are being planned and funding applied for. This spring, we are continuing our longstanding smolt tracking program in collaboration with ASF, and will also continue with our Smolt Estimate program that was revived in 2019.
Our Striped Bass Spawning Study will be taking place again this year on the Northwest Miramichi, Southwest Miramichi, And Tabusintac Rivers. Plankton surveys and beach seining is conducted for this study to determine the presence or absence of striped bass eggs, larvae, and juveniles in rivers other than the Northwest Miramichi estuary. Our new Cold-Water Habitat Maintenance Program will take place from July to October, where we will be evaluating the effectiveness of our former habitat restoration sites and conduct snorkel surveys, remove obstructions that impound cold water, as well as monitor water temperature. Our electrofishing program to evaluate juvenile density and our beaver dam removal program are scheduled to go ahead in the late summer and fall; and before we know it, it will be time to collect our Salmon broodstock again. We are very excited for the season ahead! Be sure to keep an eye out for our 2019 conservation report on our website!