This summer the Miramichi Salmon Association will be monitoring water temperatures in pools where fish accumulate during periods of warm water. Over the past few years the majority of the Miramichi salmon run has returned in July and August. Because of this run timing, fish are subjected to warm water temperatures and must seek suitable refuge as they migrate upstream.
Temperature loggers are being anchored in 12 major pools on the Southwest Miramichi. The relationship between the water temperature of the pools as compared to the water temperature at Doaktown, where a permanent temperature station is monitored by DFO, will tell us the temperature the fish are experiencing compared to the temperature recorded at Doaktown. The Doaktown temperature can then be used as the indicator for decision making regarding warm water closures.
In the second part of the project, 10 adult Atlantic salmon, captured at the DFO trap net in Millerton, will be outfitted with individual miniature thermal loggers. These miniature loggers will be attached externally to the fish. As the fish swims upstream the logger will record the temperature in 10 minute intervals and show the range of water temperatures experienced by the fish.
Since we cannot determine the location of the fish, we are relying on anglers that may catch one of these fish to remove the logger and send it to the MSA. The loggers will have a waterproof sticker attached indicating a $50 reward if the logger is returned and a phone number to contact for the reward. The angler will need to provide the tag, and the date, time and location the fish was angled. An angler may also potentially find a dead salmon with a data logger on it and they can return it for a reward also. To claim your reward, please contact the MSA at 506.622.4000.
Using the miniature thermal loggers will allow us to determine the actual temperatures that fish experience as they make their way upstream and to understand how long the fish can tolerate high temperatures. It will also let us know if they are able to find adequate refuge during these periods.