Bay of Fundy sees record numbers of Atlantic salmon for the first time in three decades

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HALIFAX –

It’s a wild comeback story that could spawn similar success throughout Fundy National Park.

About 100 endangered wild Atlantic salmon swam upstream in the parks’ rivers this year, the highest number since 1989.

Kurt Samways, Parks Canada Research Chair at the University of New Brunswick, says it’s exciting to see that all of the hard work that has gone into the Fundy Salmon Recovery Project is paying off.

“We are seeing a record number of adults returning to the rivers of Fundy National Park and it has taken a long time. We have been working on this project for over five years and it has really been the culmination of a very large collaborative project. “Samways said.

“So we’re really delighted to see so many positive results.”

It targets juvenile wild salmon, called smolts.

“Our program collects smolts migrating out in the spring. We breed them to maturity on the world’s first marine conservation farm on Grand Manan Island, ”Samways said.

This gives the salmon a head start, but no guarantee of returning home.

John Bagnall of the New Brunswick Salmon Council says there is hope salmon stocks will continue to rebound and come back.

“They obviously survived a year or two in the Bay of Fundy over the winter,” Bagnall said. “So that’s encouraging.”

“You can’t say too much about a year, you have to have a trend, but it’s definitely not negative… maybe we’ve hit rock bottom and started to come back up,” Bagnall said.

Samways says the success was no small feat, it was a collaboration across the province.

“It is only because we are able to work together that we are able to move the mountains it takes to make such a project successful,” Samways said.


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