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Old 06-07-2011, 09:35 AM
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LeeG LeeG is offline
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When was the last time you fished the Northwest Miramichi??? For me it was 2003, spring and I don't recall that the gill nets are there as you say. The fishing was better then normal for my party and the size of the fish are very good. Those spring fish (Black Salmon) after feeding on smelt for awhile are not flabby by any means, they know how to use the current and they can be a handful in that high water. We also caught many searun Brook Trout with some as big as 5 lbs., not to shabby by any measure. That fishery has its problems but the fishery still has a lot of fish and will continue to be good for many years to come in my opinion.

Lee Goldsmith
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Old 06-07-2011, 02:24 PM
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The gill nets were set for the "bright" salmon runs, with the fish coming upriver from the ocean rather than down. Those runs generally start in May-June when the smelt are running, with the sea-run brookies preceding or intermingling with them, and continue intermittently into the Fall whenever there is a raise of water in the river. Most sports came for those fish "back in the day" since they're superior to the "black" salmon that have over-wintered upriver and come down to the ocean in the early Spring. If you were there in April, they would certainly have been "black" salmon; all of the specimens of those I've seen have had dull ("black") coloration and were skinnier and more soft-fleshed than the "bright" salmon due to their extended time in the river. I'm not talking about how they behave on the end of a fly line, just their physical condition.

I haven't been Spring salmon fishing there for a long time, but my brother occasionally does right after the ice goes out of the river in April, with one of my local cousins as guide. Some years he does well, others not so good; generally he freezes his butt off in the boat for a handful of fish. My mother was born on the Northwest Miramichi and I spent part of my first 16 summers there, but it was usually in mid-summer when few salmon were coming up. The gill-netting started sometime in the '60s, if I recall correctly, and my relatives increasingly complained about the impact on the fishery every time we returned. I don't know if it's still permitted, but the Canadian government is very considerate of their native populations (people, not fish) so I wouldn't be surprised. The last time I was there in June was in the late '90s and the nets were set then. If the fishing for "bright" salmon has improved since my last trip, that's wonderful.

Last edited by Dub; 06-07-2011 at 07:23 PM.
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Old 06-07-2011, 09:06 PM
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Here is an interesting link. It shows that the NW Miramichi river system (Northwest, Little Southwest and Sevogle Rivers) only met 34% of its spawning requirement in 2009, and its stock had been depleted by 20%. First Nation (what the Mic Mac Indians are called now) denies that gill netting is causing the dramatic drop. They cite the legal limits on their net usage (but, as I said earlier, strange things can happen under cover of darkness). Looks like the gill nets go into the rivers around the first week of June. Conservationists call the nets "curtains of death" and say they certainly aren't helping the salmon population recover. I wonder how much truth there is in the First Nation claim that striped bass are eating most of the salmon smolts as they head out to sea. Nothing to do with New Hampshire fishing, but interesting nonetheless.


Last edited by Dub; 06-07-2011 at 09:15 PM.
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Old 08-04-2011, 04:01 PM
browntrout browntrout is offline
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A supposed 31" browntrout was taken in the White River in VT this past week. A picture in the local paper made many (including VT F&W) very suspicious and believe it was that of a returning atlantic salmon. Still waiting to hear what may come of it but clearly based on the head size, body length and shape and color, it was an atlantic. Taken in Stockbridge, one of the known spawning grounds. There is a $500 fine if anyone is caught catching one. The plead by the fella that caught it will most likely be that of "ignorance", though living in the town the salmon hatchery and river are located on one would expect a bit more knowledge from a fisheman.

Last edited by browntrout; 08-04-2011 at 04:04 PM.
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Old 08-04-2011, 04:49 PM
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Dub-There is a connection between the bass and the salmon smolt. It is called the balance of nature. Bass do eat salmon and studies have proven that in late May and early June it happens.

The salmon are a north to south migratory species and the bass south to north. Their paths cross and this natural occurring event of nature has been going on from the beginning of time. There is a natural climate cycle called the North Atlantic Oscillation that influences the ocean feeding grounds for both species in the winter. They are not the only fish that are influenced by this natural 35 year cycle event. The North Atlantic Cod also ebbs and flows with the cycle. It is an interesting study and does not mean that every year will favor one species or the other.

If this concept holds true, we will see an increase in Salmon and a decrease in bass over the next 10 years or so. Then a leveling for some time and then the opposite movement. As we know right now bass had a hay day over the last 15 years or so and the salmon became very depleted.

Now, I have been an Atlantic Salmon angler for over 40 years. In that time the blame of decline has landed on the door step of the First Nation people more than once. It has also landed at the feet of logging companies, mine companies, acid rain created in the mid west USA, Cormorants, Seals, Poachers, fish farms, ice bergs, sea lice as well as anglers.

What I know to be true is that there are always abuses. They are ever present and we must all work together to insure the longevity of the species. It is no one thing that has taken the toll. It is a collective use of the resource by me and many, many others. I think that First Nation people are entitled to their heritage and have the most to lose with it's demise.

The one river where you can get a sense of how cooperation effects the greater good is on the Grande Cascapedia in Quebec. There is a sharing of the resource between First Nation and angling interests and all benefit in the result. There have been no nets for the last three years.


Last edited by FlySpoke; 08-04-2011 at 05:07 PM.
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