Species Profile

Atlantic Salmon Inner Bay of Fundy population

Scientific Name: Salmo salar
Other/Previous Names: Atlantic Salmon (Inner Bay of Fundy populations)
Taxonomy Group: Fishes
COSEWIC Range: New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Atlantic Ocean
COSEWIC Assessment Date and Status Change: November 2010
COSEWIC Status: Endangered
COSEWIC Status Criteria: C2a(i,ii); D1
COSEWIC Reason for Designation:

This species requires rivers or streams that are generally clear, cool and well-oxygenated for reproduction and the first few years of rearing, but undertakes feeding migrations in the North Atlantic Ocean as older juveniles and adults. This population once bred in 32 rivers tributary to the inner Bay of Fundy, from just east of the Saint John River, to the Gaspereau River in Nova Scotia; however, spawning no longer occurs in most rivers. The population, which is thought to have consisted of about 40,000 individuals earlier in the 20th century, is believed to have been fewer than 200 individuals in 2008. Survival through the marine phase of the species’ life history is currently extremely poor, and the continued existence of this population depends on a captive rearing program. There is no likelihood of rescue, as neighbouring regions harbour severely depleted, genetically dissimilar populations.The population has historically suffered from dams that have impeded spawning migrations and flooded spawning and rearing habitats, and other human influences, such as pollution and logging, that have reduced or degraded freshwater habitats. Current threats include extremely poor marine survival related to substantial but incompletely understood changes in marine ecosystems, and negative effects of interbreeding or ecological interactions with escaped domestic salmon from fish farms. The rivers used by this population are close to the largest concentration of salmon farms in Atlantic Canada.
COSEWIC History of Status Designation: Designated Endangered in May 2001. Status re-examined and confirmed in April 2006 and November 2010.
SARA Status: Schedule 1, Endangered
Date of Listing (yyyy-mm-dd): 2003-06-05

Please note that this information is provided for general information purposes only. For the most up to date and accurate list of species listed under the Species at Risk Act, please see the Justice Laws Website.

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Quick Links: | Photo | Description | Distribution and Population | Habitat | Biology | Threats | Protection | Other Protection or Status | Recovery Initiatives | Recovery Team | National Recovery Program | Documents

Image of Atlantic Salmon

Atlantic Salmon Photo 1
Atlantic Salmon Photo 2

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Description

Atlantic Salmon can vary in colour and physical appearance depending on their age and aquatic environment. The main characteristics of Atlantic Salmon are as follows: young salmon living in fresh water, known as parr, have 8-11 dark vertical bars on sides with a red spot between each bar; smolts (approximately 15 cm) leaving fresh water for the sea lose their parr marks and become silvery in colour; adult salmon are a medium-sized salmonid with a pointed head, well-developed teeth on both jaws and a slightly forked tail fin; adult salmon have a laterally compressed (flattened from side to side) body averaging 60 cm in length for a 1 sea-winter salmon (grilse); all salmon have a silver belly and a back that varies through shades of brown, green and blue, with numerous black spots scattered along the upper half of the body; spawning male and female adult Atlantic Salmon become bronze-purple in colour and develop reddish spots on the head and body; and spawning males develop a hook-like tip of the lower jaw known as a kype. Inner Bay of Fundy Atlantic Salmon (iBoF Salmon) are genetically different from other Atlantic Salmon populations (sometimes referred to as designatable units) and have some unique life history traits, including a high proportion of individuals that mature as grilse after a winter at sea, a high proportion of females among the grilse, high survival rates after spawning, and local migration.

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Distribution and Population

The Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) has identified 16 different populations (designatable units) of Atlantic Salmon based on genetic data and broad patterns of life history variation, environmental variables and geographic separation. The range of the iBoF Salmon population includes 50 rivers draining into the inner Bay of Fundy starting with the Mispec River (northeast of the Saint John River) in New Brunswick, around the inner Bay to the Pereaux River (in the Minas Basin northeast of the Annapolis River) in Nova Scotia. Historically, wild Atlantic Salmon were found in 32 to 42 rivers in this area, but this has been reduced to only a small number of rivers in recent years. The population of adult Atlantic Salmon in iBoF rivers has been estimated to be about 40,000 adults earlier in the 20th century. Historically, their abundance fluctuated widely but wild iBoF Salmon have declined to critically low abundance levels since 1989 (much lower than any previously documented) and are currently at risk of extinction. By 1999 abundance was reduced to as few as 250 adults and is likely even lower at present. Continued low numbers of fish in the 2 rivers in which the return of adult spawners is currently monitored by Fisheries and Oceans Canada (the Big Salmon River in NB and Gaspereau River in NS) indicate that the number of fish has not increased. Parks Canada Agency monitors the return of adult spawners to the 2 iBoF rivers within Fundy National Park (Point Wolfe and Upper Salmon rivers). Annual surveys for adult salmon by Parks Canada Agency and collaborators continue to show very few adult fish returning from the Bay of Fundy to these rivers.

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Habitat

IBoF Salmon, like all Atlantic Salmon, require a variety of freshwater, estuarine and marine habitats as it grows to maturity. Atlantic Salmon are anadromous meaning they spawn in fresh water, but spend much of their life at sea. IBoF Salmon undertake localized migrations; staying mainly within the Bay of Fundy and northern Gulf of Maine as opposed to long distance migrations that are characteristic of other Atlantic Salmon populations. When Atlantic Salmon are in fresh water, they prefer natural stream channels with rapids and pools, gravel bottoms, in which hatchlings can hide from predators, and cool water that is free from chemical and organic pollution. Much less is known about the marine habitat preferences of Atlantic Salmon. In the marine environment of the Bay of Fundy, iBoF Salmon prefer relatively stable water temperatures between 1°C and 13°C year-round. IBoF Salmon reside and/or migrate through the Bay of Fundy and northern Gulf of Maine from May to October.

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Biology

The life cycle of Atlantic Salmon has many stages. Adult salmon spend part of their life feeding and growing at sea before returning to spawn in the freshwater stream where they hatched. IBoF Salmon typically spawn in their native rivers during October and November. Females dig a nest pit with their tails called a redd in gravel on the stream bed at the head of riffles (shallow, fast flowing areas of a stream or river) or at the tail of a pool to deposit eggs. The males will fertilize the deposited eggs with their milt. After spawning, the surviving adult spawners (known as kelts) immediately return to the sea or remain in the river over winter and return to sea in the spring. The eggs develop in the nest during the winter and usually hatch in April. The young salmon, known as alevins, remain buried in the gravel and receive nourishment from an attached yolk sac until May or June. Young iBoF Salmon, known as parr, live and grow in streams for 2 to 4 years. When the parr are ready to migrate to the ocean, they undergo a physiological change and assume the silvery colour of the adult salmon. Seaward migration may begin in autumn, but actual movement into salt water normally occurs in May or June. The majority of individuals mature after 1 winter at sea (known as grilse) before returning to their natal streams. The diet of Atlantic Salmon includes crustaceans and small fish.

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Threats

Although historical impacts in fresh water may have contributed to the species’ decline and current status, a growing body of evidence suggests that the recovery of iBoF Salmon is primarily limited by low marine survival rather than an inability to spawn and live successfully in freshwater rivers and streams. The reasons for their low marine-survival rates are unknown. The leading marine threats include interactions with farmed and hatchery salmon, ecological community shifts, environmental shifts and fisheries; while the leading freshwater threats include changes in environmental conditions, pollutants, barriers to fish passage and depressed population phenomena (e.g., abnormal behaviour due to low abundance, inbreeding). Although threats in the ocean are believed to be the main threat facing iBoF Salmon recovery, threats in freshwater may also have an impact.

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Protection

Federal Protection

The Atlantic Salmon, Inner Bay of Fundy population, is protected under the federal Species at Risk Act (SARA). More information about SARA, including how it protects individual species, is available in the Species at Risk Act: A Guide.

IBoF Salmon have been listed as Endangered under the federal Species at Risk Act (SARA) since 2003. The species and its habitat are protected under SARA and the federal Fisheries Act. IBoF Salmon residing in Fundy National Park in New Brunswick are also protected by the Canada National Parks Act. In 2010, 10 rivers in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia were identified as containing fresh water critical habitat (habitat required for the survival and recovery of the species) for the iBoF Salmon under the Species at Risk Act (SARA): Gaspereau, Stewiacke, Debert, Folly, Great Village, Portapique, Economy, Upper Salmon, Point Wolfe and Big Salmon. Details on this identified critical habitat can be found in Section 2.5 of the recovery strategy. Under SARA it is illegal to destroy critical habitat. For those portions of critical habitat within Fundy National Park (namely in those sections of the Point Wolfe and Upper Salmon rivers within the park boundaries), legal protection was provided in November 2010 with the publication of a Critical Habitat Description. For the remaining 8 rivers and portions of the Point Wolfe and Upper Salmon rivers outside Fundy National Park boundaries, critical habitat is being legally protected from destruction by the making of a Critical Habitat Order. A spawning redd is a residence for iBoF Atlantic Salmon under SARA. The redd has the structural form and function of a nest and is used for salmon egg incubation, hatching, and the early rearing of hatchlings (alevins). One redd can contain hundreds to several thousands of eggs from a single female salmon. The female salmon constructs the redd during spawning and invests energy in its creation. A redd is typically occupied from October until late June. They are usually located at the tail end of pools on the upstream side of riffles (shallow fast water section of a river or stream) over a gravel bottom. Under SARA, it is illegal to damage or destroy an iBoF Atlantic Salmon spawning redd. These structures may be located in any of the rivers or streams within the inner Bay of Fundy area.

Provincial and Territorial Protection

To know if this species is protected by provincial or territorial laws, consult the provinces' and territories' websites.

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Other Protection or Status

A live gene-banking program involving captive breeding and rearing of iBoF Salmon was initiated in 1998 to reduce the probability of the species’ extirpation (total loss of all iBoF Salmon). The program seeks to minimize the loss of genetic differences in the iBoF Salmon population and at the same time minimize the likelihood of domestication (loss of wild behaviour in captivity). Several important populations from inner Bay of Fundy rivers are harboured and protected at the Coldbrook Biodiversity Centre in Nova Scotia and the Mactaquac Biodiversity Centre in New Brunswick. In addition, a number of satellite tagging projects have been initiated by Fisheries and Oceans Canada and Parks Canada Agency to track migration patterns of iBoF Salmon when they leave the rivers and to better understand their at-sea migration behaviour. Many other recovery activities have been initiated and are underway by both government and non-government organizations. These activities include ongoing research and monitoring activities, implementation of a High Ancestry live-gene bank program and marine rearing project for Fundy National Park rivers, ongoing implementation of species and habitat protection and management measures and numerous stewardship and outreach activities in local watersheds. For example, a partnership of conservation and First Nation groups has been formed following the opening of the causeway gates in the spring of 2010 that undertakes stewardship activities on the historically important Petitcodiac River in New Brunswick, including efforts to restore the watershed and the species it traditionally supported, such as the iBoF Salmon.

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Recovery Initiatives

Status of Recovery Planning

Recovery Strategies :

Name Recovery Strategy for the Atlantic Salmon (Salmo salar), Inner Bay of Fundy Populations
Status Final posting on SAR registry

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Recovery Team

Inner Bay of Fundy Atlantic Salmon Conservation & Recovery Team (Planning Group)

  • Kent Smedbol - Chair/Contact - Fisheries and Oceans Canada
     Send Email

Inner Bay of Fundy Atlantic Salmon Conservation & Recovery Team (Recovery Group)

  • Harvey Millar - Chair/Contact - Fisheries and Oceans Canada
     Send Email

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Recovery Progress and Activities

A live gene-banking program involving captive breeding and rearing of iBoF Salmon was initiated in 1998 to reduce the probability of the species’ extirpation (total loss of all iBoF Salmon). The program seeks to minimize the loss of genetic differences in the iBoF Salmon population and at the same time minimize the likelihood of domestication (loss of wild behaviour in captivity). Several important populations from inner Bay of Fundy rivers are harboured and protected at the Coldbrook Biodiversity Centre in Nova Scotia and the Mactaquac Biodiversity CentreColdbrook Biodiversity Centre in Nova Scotia and the Mactaquac Biodiversity Centre in New Brunswick. In addition, a number of satellite tagging projects have been initiated by Fisheries and Oceans Canada and Parks Canada Agency to track migration patterns of iBoF Salmon when they leave the rivers and to better understand their at-sea migration behaviour. Many other recovery activities have been initiated and are underway by both government and non-government organizations. These activities include ongoing research and monitoring activities, implementation of a High Ancestry live-gene bank program and marine rearing project for Fundy National Park rivers, ongoing implementation of species and habitat protection and management measures and numerous stewardship and outreach activities in local watersheds. For example, a partnership of conservation and First Nation groups has been formed following the opening of the causeway gates in the spring of 2010 that undertakes stewardship activities on the historically important Petitcodiac River in New Brunswick, including efforts to restore the watershed and the species it traditionally supported, such as the iBoF Salmon.

Documents

PLEASE NOTE: Not all COSEWIC reports are currently available on the SARA Public Registry. Most of the reports not yet available are status reports for species assessed by COSEWIC prior to May 2002. Other COSEWIC reports not yet available may include those species assessed as Extinct, Data Deficient or Not at Risk. In the meantime, they are available on request from the COSEWIC Secretariat.

138 record(s) found.

Reports on the Progress of Recovery Document Implementation

COSEWIC Status Reports

  • COSEWIC assessment and status report on the Atlantic Salmon Salmo salar (Inner Bay of Fundy populations) in Canada (2006-11-06)

    The anadromous form of the Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) grows to maturity in the ocean but returns to fresh water to reproduce. The species is naturally structured into genetically differentiated populations due to homing to natal rivers, juvenile rearing within the rivers, and the spatial isolation of river systems. This differentiation is generally hierarchical, with regional groups of populations having more genetic similarity than that found across groups. Groups also tend to share adaptations that allow individuals to be successful in their specific local environment. Six regional groups of Atlantic salmon have been proposed for Canada, and one of these consists of the populations that are contained within the inner Bay of Fundy (iBoF).
  • COSEWIC Assessment and Status Report on the Atlantic Salmon Salmo salar in Canada (2015-12-02)

    The Atlantic Salmon (Salmo salar) is a member of the family Salmonidae. This species has a fusiform body shape and matures at sizes ranging from 10 to 100+ cm. Atlantic Salmon exhibit plastic life histories and may have multiple reproductive and migratory phenotypes within a population, including freshwater resident and oceanic migrant forms. All phenotypes reproduce in fresh water. The oceanic migrant (anadromous) form is the best known phenotype, and with the exception of the extinct Lake Ontario population, is the only form considered in this report. Juveniles spend 1-8 years in fresh water, then migrate to the North Atlantic for 1-4 years, and then return to fresh water to reproduce. Demographically functional units tend to be at the watershed scale, but population subdivision may occur within watersheds. The Canadian range of this species was subdivided into 16 designatable units (DUs) based on genetic data and broad patterns in life history variation, environmental variables, and geographic separation.

Response Statements

  • Response Statement - Atlantic Salmon, Inner Bay of Fundy population (2011-12-08)

    This species requires rivers or streams that are generally clear, cool and well-oxygenated for reproduction and the first few years of rearing, but undertakes feeding migrations in the North Atlantic Ocean as older juveniles and adults. This population once bred in 32 rivers tributary to the inner Bay of Fundy, from just east of the Saint John River, to the Gaspereau River in Nova Scotia; however, spawning no longer occurs in most rivers. The population, which is thought to have consisted of about 40,000 individuals earlier in the 20th century, is believed to have been fewer than 200 individuals in 2008. Survival through the marine phase of the species’ life history is currently extremely poor, and the continued existence of this population depends on a captive rearing program. There is no likelihood of rescue, as neighbouring regions harbour severely depleted, genetically dissimilar populations.The population has historically suffered from dams that have impeded spawning migrations and flooded spawning and rearing habitats, and other human influences, such as pollution and logging, that have reduced or degraded freshwater habitats. Current threats include extremely poor marine survival related to substantial but incompletely understood changes in marine ecosystems, and negative effects of interbreeding or ecological interactions with escaped domestic salmon from fish farms. The rivers used by this population are close to the largest concentration of salmon farms in Atlantic Canada.
  • Response Statements - Atlantic Salmon (2006-11-29)

    These salmon represent a unique Canadian endemic; their entire biological distribution exists within Canada. Adult numbers are estimated to have declined by more than 95% in 30 years, and most rivers no longer have either adults or juveniles.  In 2003, fewer than 100 adults are estimated to have returned to the 32 rivers known to have historically contained the species. There is no likelihood of rescue, as neighbouring regions harbour severely depressed, genetically dissimilar populations. The reasons for the collapse in adult abundances are not well understood. Reduced survival from smolt to adulthood in marine waters is thought to be a key factor. There are many possible causes of this increased mortality, including ecological community shifts; ecological / genetic interactions with farmed and hatchery Atlantic salmon; environmental shifts; and fisheries (illegal or incidental catch). Threats to the species in the freshwater environment are thought to be historical and contemporary in nature. Historical threats include loss and degradation of habitat (attributable to the construction of barriers to migration and logging); contemporary threats may include interbreeding with escaped farmed fish and environmental change (warmer temperatures, contaminants).

Recovery Strategies

  • Recovery Strategy for the Atlantic Salmon (Salmo salar), Inner Bay of Fundy Populations (2010-05-04)

    Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) is an anadromous fish endemic to the northern temperate hemisphere. The “Atlantic salmon, inner Bay of Fundy (iBoF) populations” are considered a ‘Designatable Unit’ (DU) by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC 2006). The entire iBoF DU exists within Eastern Canada. It includes all rivers draining into the inner Bay of Fundy, starting with the Mispec River (northeast of the Saint John River in New Brunswick) to the Pereaux River (northeast of the Annapolis River in Nova Scotia). Adult Atlantic salmon are reported to have inhabited from 32 to 42 rivers in that area. IBoF Atlantic salmon possess distinct genetic traits and unique life history characteristics compared to the remainder of the anadromous Atlantic salmon species. They are presently at critically low levels, listed and protected under Schedule 1, Part 2 of the federal Species at Risk Act. An amendment of the Recovery Strategy for the Atlantic Salmon (Salmo salar), Inner Bay of Fundy Populations was made to incorporate changes to the critical habitat maps in Appendix IV. These changes are restricted to the incorporation of geo-referenced coordinates for drawn polygons that circumscribe the tributaries containing the critical habitat. These revisions do not change the definition, location or total area of the critical habitat and are therefore considered minor amendments to the Recovery Strategy as per SARA 45 (4). The revised maps can be found in Appendix IVb (pages 68-76) and the associated coordinates in Appendix IVa (pages 77-84).

Action Plans

  • Action Plan for the Atlantic Salmon (Salmo salar), inner Bay of Fundy populations in Canada (2019-09-10)

    The Atlantic Salmon (Salmo salar) is an anadromous fish. The inner Bay of Fundy populations of Atlantic Salmon (iBoF Salmon) are reported to have inhabited many of the approximately 50 rivers draining into the inner bay in both Nova Scotia (NS) and New Brunswick (NB). The populations of iBoF Salmon face separate threats in the marine and freshwater environments. Although the causes of the marked decline of iBoF Salmon are not well understood, historical impacts in freshwater may have contributed to their decline and current status, while evidence suggests that recovery is currently primarily limited by low marine survival. Survival of the populations is currently maintained through a captive breeding and rearing program known as the Live Gene Bank (LGB). Historically, iBoF Salmon populations supported economically and culturally significant Aboriginal, recreational and commercial fisheries, and at present Salmon remain socially and culturally important to local communities and Aboriginal people of Atlantic Canada.

Orders

  • Order Amending Schedule 1 to the Species at Risk Act (volume 146, number 14, 2012) (2012-07-04)

    The purpose of the Order Amending Schedule 1 to the Species at Risk Act is to add 18 species to Schedule 1, the List of Wildlife Species at Risk (the List), and to reclassify 7 listed species, pursuant to subsection 27(1) of SARA. This amendment is made on the recommendation of the Minister of the Environment based on scientific assessments by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) and on consultations with governments, Aboriginal peoples, stakeholders and the Canadian public.

COSEWIC Annual Reports

  • COSEWIC Annual Report - 2006 (2006-08-30)

    2006 Annual Report to the The Minister of the Environment and the Canadian Endangered Species Conservation Council (CESCC) from the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada.
  • COSEWIC Annual Report - 2010 - 2011 (2011-09-09)

    Under Canada’s Species at Risk Act (SARA), the foremost function of COSEWIC is to “assess the status of each wildlife species considered by COSEWIC to be at risk and, as part of the assessment, identify existing and potential threats to the species”. COSEWIC held two Wildlife Species Assessment Meetings during the past year assessing the status or reviewing the classification of a total of 92 wildlife species.

Permits and Related Agreements

  • Explanation for issuing other simliar documents(#15-HMAR-00124), persuant to the provisions of section 74 of SARA (2018-07-20)

    The project includes the operation of one 2 MW in-stream tidal energy turbine at the Fundy Ocean Research Center for Energy (FORCE) test site in Minas Passage, Bay of Fundy for a period of up to eighteen (18) months between July 20, 2018 and July 31, 2020. The project is a small scale, short-term demonstration project to assess the feasibly of in-stream tidal generation in the Minas Passage. Both the endangered White Shark and the endangered inner Bay of Fundy (iBoF) population of Atlantic Salmon may be found within the Minas Passage. The operation of the turbine for the specified time period will allow for the collection of data on the presence and behaviour of fish and marine mammals, including aquatic species at risk, in the vicinity of the turbine.
  • Explanation for issuing other simliar documents(#20-HMAR-00030), persuant to the provisions of section 74 of SARA (2020-12-29)

    The activity is the operation of up to six in-stream tidal energy turbines from a single floating tidal energy platform known as the PLAT-I 6.40. The activity will take place at Grand Passage, located in the Bay of Fundy between Long Island and Brier Island in Digby County, Nova Scotia. The activity will be carried on during a period of approximately 1 year from December 31, 2020 to December 31, 2021. The purpose of the activity is to demonstrate the performance of the turbines and the new PLAT-I 6.40, and collect environmental effects monitoring data to assess the feasibility and sustainability of generating in-stream tidal energy. The activity aims to help inform research and development related to in-stream tidal energy projects and their potential environmental effects.
  • Explanation for issuing other simliar documents(#DFO-18-HMAR-00234), persuant to the provisions of section 74 of SARA (2018-10-21)

    The activity is the operation of four in-stream tidal energy turbines mounted on a single floating tidal energy platform known as the PLAT-I in Grand Passage (Bay of Fundy) for a period of approximately 90 non-consecutive days between October 21, 2018 and March 1, 2019 (hereafter referred to as "the Project"). The purpose of the Project is to test the performance of the turbines, the PLAT-I, and equipment used for environmental effects monitoring to assess the feasibility and sustainability of this approach to generating in-stream tidal energy. Both the endangered White Shark and endangered inner Bay of Fundy Atlantic Salmon (iBoF Salmon) may be found within Grand Passage. The Project aims to help inform future research and development in relation to tidal energy projects and potential environmental effects.
  • Explanation for issuing permit(# DFO-MAR-2014-18), persuant to the provisions of section 73 of SARA (2014-07-24)

    Electrofishing will be used to determine the presence\absence of inner Bay of Fundy Salmon in a proposed project area on Walton Lake, New Brunswick. All areas adjacent to the proposed project will be assessed for their suitability for Atlantic Salmon spawning and rearing.
  • Explanation for issuing permit(#19-PMAR-00019), persuant to the provisions of section 73 of SARA (2019-06-20)

    Fish surveys are being conducted to explore fish biodiversity, spatiotemporal occurrence, and possible relationships between fish presence and environmental factors, such as water quality and lunar phases. Research will be conducted on three rivers: Cogmagun, Halfway, and Avon. These rivers all have various levels of barriers, and the study also aims to highlight how barriers impact various fish species, life history, and habitats. At each site, monitoring will employ various equipment and methods to capture a wide range of fish species: electrofishing, eel pots, fyke nets, minnow traps and gill nets. Fish captured will be counted, measured, weighed, and gender will be determined (where possible) before being returned to the water. Surveys will occur throughout the entire year, weather permitting, except during February and March when conditions are too difficult for fieldwork. If inner Bay of Fundy (iBoF) Atlantic Salmon are incidentally captured, they will not be sampled and will be released immediately back into the water. The activities authorized by this permit consist of: fish surveys (electrofishing, minnow traps, eel pots, gill nets and fyke nets) followed by the handling of iBoF Atlantic Salmon in order to release individuals.
  • Explanation for issuing permit(#19-PMAR-00020), persuant to the provisions of section 73 of SARA (2019-07-04)

    The Inner Bay of Fundy (iBoF) Atlantic Salmon In-Situ Egg Incubation Project is part of a multi-year initiative to identify threats to iBoF Atlantic Salmon spawning habitats and to determine if these habitats can adequately support in-situ incubation, by conducting follow-up surveys on egg survivability. Egg incubation baskets (EIBs) are a potential recovery tool to increase juvenile production and will be evaluated by comparing egg survival rates in EIBs to naturally incubated eggs in iBoF rivers. The relatively small number of iBoF Atlantic Salmon eggs required from the Coldbrook Biodiversity Facility is comparable to DFO annual fry releases. Fish surveys (electrofishing and minnow traps) will take place to determine fish species richness within the sampling area, and identify the presence or absence of iBoF Atlantic Salmon in various life stages. Salmon and trout species will be measured using a fish board and weighed. For the EIB's, the project will develop a modified EIB to reduce temperature variation, provide better flow, reduce sedimentation, increase food availability and in general provide a more survivable egg incubation habitat than currently exits with the current EIB design and placement. Approximately 72 EIB's will be designed and used. There will be 8 baskets per site, with 3 sites per river, and three rivers in total (8 baskets x 3 sites x 3 rivers = 72 total baskets). In total, 100 eggs will be placed in each basket. Since there are 72 baskets, approximately 7,200 eggs will be used. The baskets will be placed in the stream during the fall and monitored weekly (once per week). In the spring, emergence baskets will be installed and removed daily; sacfry/alevin will be counted and then released into the stream. Once all eggs have hatched, the EIB's will be removed from the river, and the substrate amended to its original state. The activities authorized by this permit consist of: fish surveys (electrofishing and minnow traps) followed by the handling and some sampling of iBoF Atlantic Salmon; possession and handling of iBoF Atlantic Salmon eggs for in river, in-situ egg incubation via baskets; habitat disturbance for instillation of in-situ EIB's.
  • Explanation for issuing permit(#19-PMAR-00026 ), persuant to the provisions of section 73 of SARA (2019-09-04)

    A multi-year fish and fish habitat survey in the Mispec, Black, Emerson, Gardner, Tynemouth, Mosher, and Irish Rivers, New Brunswick. The purpose of the survey will be to evaluate the habitat and overall health of the endangered Inner Bay of Fundy (iBoF) Atlantic Salmon population. During the first field season, each river will be carefully examined for unnatural habitat alterations and fish passage obstructions. Field methodology includes Swim-through survey and electrofishing. Approximately 50 individual Atlantic Salmon will be sampled, the rest will be released without sampling. Measurements and fin clips will be taken from each salmon sampled. The genetic information gathered will be used to identify any interactions between farmed and wild Salmon in the various streams and to determine if iBoF Atlantic Salmon inhabit the surveyed river. A comprehensive management plan specific to each of the rivers will be produced and will include recommendations to remove fish passage barriers. Outreach activities will be undertaken to raise awareness about the issues of anthropogenic impacts to fish habitat and the project's progress and successes. The activities authorized by this permit consist of fish surveys (electrofishing) followed by the handling and some sampling (fin clipping) of iBoF Atlantic Salmon.
  • Explanation for issuing permit(#19-PMAR-00030 ), persuant to the provisions of section 73 of SARA (2019-08-21)

    The purpose of this research is to conduct fish community surveys using the seine fishing method before and after culvert remediation work at five to nine culverts identified as barriers to fish migration in the Petitcodiac watershed, New Brunswick. Both the Stevens Brook (Elgin) and Prosser Brook (Parkindale) will be surveyed. Surveys will be conducted upstream and downstream of the barrier culverts in 2019 and 2020. The surveys will help prioritize culvert remediation work. The surveys performed after remediation work has been completed, will help evaluate the efficiency of the culvert remediation efforts. Seining will occur once upstream and once downstream, before and after the culvert is remediated. The knotless nylon seine netting to be used will be 12 feet (ft) long by 4 ft deep with a mesh size of 1/8 inch. Surveys will be conducted in the morning and only when the water temperature is less than 20°C. Individual fish will be handled for a maximum of 15 seconds and will be released with or without identification. A second observer will take pictures of each specimen to help in the identification. The activities authorized by this permit consist of seining followed by handling of iBoF Atlantic Salmon.
  • Explanation for issuing permit(#19-PMAR-00034 ), persuant to the provisions of section 73 of SARA (2019-09-12)

    Fish surveys are being conducted to explore fish biodiversity and to carry out monitoring pre and post barrier remediation. This may include replacement of culverts in relation to larger projects. Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) will be assessed prior to any remediation work. Research will be conducted on eleven rivers: Fall Brook, Big Meadow Brook, Little Hurd Brook, Nelson Brook, Cox Brook, Little Hurd Brook, Bear Brook, Newton Brook, Chaplin Brook and 2 unnamed streams in the same general area. Surveys will occur upstream and downstream of each site by electrofishing and/or by using a fyke net. Any inner Bay of Fundy (iBoF) Atlantic Salmon accidentally caught will be released immediately back into the water. No measurements or samples will be taken. The activities authorized by this permit consist of electrofishing and the use of fyke nets that could accidentally capture iBoF Atlantic Salmon and handling necessary to release iBoF Atlantic Salmon.
  • Explanation for issuing permit(#19-PMAR-00035 ), persuant to the provisions of section 73 of SARA (2019-09-24)

    A one-day electrofishing survey is being conducted in Newport Corner area on an unnamed watercourse as part of the Species at Risk assessment for the site, to determine which aquatic species are present. Electrofishing and fyke netting will occur at select sections of the watercourse in potential salmonid habitat. Specific locations for electrofishing and fyke netting will be determined following the execution of other aquatic field programs. All individuals caught will be released in the same area of the watercourse where they were caught. If inner Bay of Fundy (iBoF) Atlantic Salmon are incidentally captured, they will be released immediately back into the water; they will not be sampled. This will assist the management of the environmental effects of the land owners activities in order to meet their strategic objective of protecting federally listed Species at Risk. As this watercourse drains into the iBoF, there is a possibility that iBoF Atlantic Salmon may occur. The activities authorized by this permit consist of electrofishing and the use of minnow traps which could result in the capture of IBoF Atlantic Salmon and handling necessary to release iBoF Atlantic Salmon.
  • Explanation for issuing permit(#19-PMAR-00041 ), persuant to the provisions of section 73 of SARA (2020-01-20)

    Fish surveys are being conducted to explore fish biodiversity, spatiotemporal occurrence, and possible relationships between fish presence and environmental factors, such as water quality and lunar phases. Research will be conducted on three rivers: Cogmagun, Halfway, and Avon. These rivers all have various levels of barriers, and the study also aims to highlight how barriers impact various fish species, life history, and habitats. At each site, monitoring will employ various equipment and methods to capture a wide range of fish species: electrofishing, eel pots, fyke nets, minnow traps and gill nets. Fish captured will be counted, measured, weighed, and gender will be determined (where possible) before being returned to the water. Surveys will occur throughout the entire year, weather permitting, except during February and March when conditions are too difficult for fieldwork. If inner Bay of Fundy (iBoF) Atlantic Salmon are incidentally captured, they will not be sampled and will be released immediately back into the water. The activities authorized by this permit consist of fish surveys (electrofishing, minnow traps, eel pots, gill nets and fyke nets) followed by the handling of iBoF Atlantic Salmon in order to release individuals.
  • Explanation for issuing permit(#20-PMAR-00003 ), persuant to the provisions of section 73 of SARA (2020-03-11)

    The project involves rearing inner Bay of Fundy Atlantic Salmon (iBoF Salmon) eggs to fry for release in New Brunswick iBoF rivers. It is part of a broader program in which students raise genetically appropriate Atlantic Salmon eggs to fry in their classrooms and then release the fry into the wild. The iBoF Salmon eggs come from the Mactaquac Biodiversity Facility as part of the broader live gene bank program. The program is beneficial to the recovery of iBoF Salmon as the program uses the same genetic stock that DFO and other partners are using in an effort to re-establish wild Atlantic Salmon in iBoF rivers. The eggs are reared to fry in specialized incubation units in the classroom. The students then release the fry in June into local iBoF streams to continue their life cycle. The activities authorized by this permit consist of: Transport of iBoF Atlantic Salmon eggs from the Mactaquac Biodiversity Facility to the schools named above and from the schools to the release locations located within the inner Bay of Fundy area; Handling necessary to transfer and release iBoF Atlantic Salmon; and Possession of iBoF Atlantic Salmon eggs, alevin, and fry during rearing.
  • Explanation for issuing permit(#20-PMAR-00021 ), persuant to the provisions of section 73 of SARA (2020-06-16)

    Conduct fish community surveys via seining before and after culvert remediation work for up to nine culverts identified as barriers to fish migration in the Petitcodiac watershed. Both the Steevens Brook (Elgin) and Prosser Brook (Parkindale) will be surveyed. The surveys will help prioritize culvert remediation work and help evaluate the effectiveness of the culvert remediation efforts. The activities authorized by this permit include: operation of a seine which could result in the capture of inner Bay of Fundy Atlantic Salmon; and handling of inner Bay of Fundy Atlantic Salmon to release them from the nets.
  • Explanation for issuing permit(#20-PMAR-00022 ), persuant to the provisions of section 73 of SARA (2020-06-16)

    Chain Pickerel surveys will occur 2-3 times per week in the Stewiacke River with the use of a beach seine. Three 25-foot sections will be measured out (total area covered: 75 feet) and starting at the first section, the beach seine will be pulled through the water, the seine will be brought to shore and all captures (aside from Chain Pickerel) will be noted and released. Every Chain Pickerel caught will be euthanized (using clove oil), length and weight will be recorded, the stomach will be dissected to determine contents, the cleithrum will be removed (to be analyzed to determine age), and if possible, the sex of the fish will be determined. The purpose of conducting this survey and analyzing the stomach contents of Chain Pickerel will be to determine their predation on Inner Bay of Fundy (iBoF) Atlantic Salmon smolt in the area. There is a risk of interaction with iBoF smolts (juveniles) as a result of using the beach seine. The results from stomach content analysis will be used to quantify the effect of predation by Chain Pickerel on Atlantic Salmon smolts in the Stewiacke River. The activities authorized by this permit consist of: Seine fishing which could result in the capture of inner Bay of Fundy Atlantic Salmon Handling necessary to release inner Bay of Fundy Atlantic Salmon.
  • Explanation for issuing permit(#20-PMAR-00022), persuant to the provisions of section 73 of SARA (2020-06-16)

    Chain Pickerel surveys will occur 2-3 times per week in the Stewiacke River with the use of a beach seine. Three 25-foot sections will be measured out (total area covered: 75 feet) and starting at the first section, the beach seine will be pulled through the water, the seine will be brought to shore and all captures (aside from Chain Pickerel) will be noted and released. Every Chain Pickerel caught will be euthanized (using clove oil), length and weight will be recorded, the stomach will be dissected to determine contents, the cleithrum will be removed (to be analyzed to determine age), and if possible, the sex of the fish will be determined. The purpose of conducting this survey and analyzing the stomach contents of Chain Pickerel will be to determine their predation on Inner Bay of Fundy (iBoF) Atlantic Salmon smolt in the area. There is a risk of interaction with iBoF smolts (juveniles) as a result of using the beach seine. The results from stomach content analysis will be used to quantify the effect of predation by Chain Pickerel on Atlantic Salmon smolts in the Stewiacke River. The activities authorized by this permit consist of seine fishing which could result in the capture of inner Bay of Fundy Atlantic Salmon, handling necessary to release inner Bay of Fundy Atlantic Salmon.
  • Explanation for issuing permit(#20-PMAR-00024), persuant to the provisions of section 73 of SARA (2020-07-22)

    Researchers will operate a picket trap (box net) to capture upstream-migrating fish. The trap will be installed in the Petitcodiac River in New Brunswick. The fish will be counted, with tissue samples taken from Striped Bass (Morone saxatilis), and scale samples taken from any returning Inner Bay of Fundy (iBoF) Atlantic Salmon (Salmo salar). All fish sampled will be released alive. The purpose of conducting this survey and analyzing tissue and scale samples is to monitor the recovery (or lack thereof) of diadromous fish species in the Petitcodiac River watershed following the 2010 opening of the Moncton-Riverview causeway gates to free tidal flow. There is a risk of interaction with iBoF Atlantic Salmon as a result of using the picket trap. The activities authorized by this permit consist of: Operating a picket trap with the potential of capturing, handling, possessing of their parts (samples), and temporary harassment of individual iBoF Atlantic Salmon.
  • Explanation for issuing permit(#20-PMAR-00026 ), persuant to the provisions of section 73 of SARA (2020-07-06)

    Fish within the Shubenacadie River, Nova Scotia, will be sampled using hoop nets and beach seines. The purpose of the study will be to collect baseline information on the assemblage of fish species in the Shubenacadie River. Sampling will be conducted 2 to 3 times per week at 5 to 6 sites along the River, from July to December, 2020. The beach seine will be set across the river every 20 meters, covering a total of 40 to 60 meters (m) per site. The seine will be sampled every 2 minutes, following each 20 meter interval, for approximately 6 minutes at multiple sites per day. The hoop net will be checked and the catch processed every 30 minutes to 2 hours, depending on the catch size. The hoop net will be fished at only one site per week over a 1 to 5 hour period each day. Any inner Bay of Fundy (iBoF) Atlantic Salmon (Salmo salar) caught by the hoop net or beach seine will be released immediately. The activities authorized by this permit include installation and operation of a hoop net and beach seine from July to December, 2020 that could result in the capture of iBoF Atlantic Salmon; and handling of iBoF Atlantic Salmon to release them from the nets.
  • >> See more Permits and Related Agreements documents

Residence Description

  • Residence statement for the Atlantic Salmon (Salmo salar), inner Bay of Fundy population (2018-08-23)

    A spawning redd is a residence for Atlantic Salmon, inner Bay of Fundy population (iBoF Salmon). The redd has the structural form and function of a nest and is used for salmon egg incubation, hatching, and the early rearing of hatchlings (alevins). One redd can contain hundreds to several thousands of eggs from a single female salmon. The female salmon constructs the redd during spawning and invests energy in its creation. A redd is typically occupied from October until late June.

Factsheet

  • Questions and answers: Critical habitat of the Atlantic Salmon, inner Bay of Fundy population (2020-11-13)

    Critical habitat is defined in the Species at Risk Act (SARA) as the habitat that is necessary for the survival or recovery of a listed wildlife species and that is identified as such in the recovery strategy or action plan for the species. For aquatic species, critical habitat may include areas used for spawning, rearing young, feeding and migration. SARA requires that critical habitat be identified to the extent possible for all endangered, threatened and extirpated species.

Critical Habitat Descriptions in the Canada Gazette

Critical Habitat Orders

  • Critical Habitat of the Atlantic Salmon (Salmo salar) Inner Bay of Fundy Population Order (2019-09-18)

    The iBoF salmon require a variety of freshwater and marine habitats to complete a life cycle, and as a salmon grows to maturity, habitat requirements change. Freshwater iBoF salmon habitat consists of riffles, runs and staging or holding pools found below complete natural barriers in rivers. IBoF salmon streams are generally clean, cool, well oxygenated, and have bottom substrates composed of assorted gravel, cobble and boulder.

Recovery Document Posting Plans

  • Recovery Document Posting Plan - Fisheries and Oceans Canada - Fiscal Year 2016-2017 (2018-09-28)

    Under the Species at Risk Act (SARA), the competent Minister(s) must prepare a recovery strategy within one year of listing a species on Schedule 1 of SARA as endangered and within two years of listing a species as extirpated or threatened. A management plan must be prepared within three years for a species listed as special concern. Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) is accountable for 111 of the 518 species listed under SARA. As of February 2016, proposed recovery strategies, management plans and action plans for 57 of those species have not yet been posted to the Species at Risk Public Registry. An additional 23 aquatic species have proposed management or action plans coming due in the future. The following outlines the Department’s plan for posting proposed documents for 64 species on the Species at Risk Public Registry. The Department has a plan to post recovery strategies for 9 species, management plans for 13 species, and action plans for 42 species over the next year. Original publication of the Recovery Document Posting Plan: 2016-05-02
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