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Research Projects
Serpentine River Population

In July 2011, twenty-four early run ‘Serpentine stock’ wild Atlantic salmon were surgically implanted with radio tags after returning from sea to the Mactaquac Dam fishway. The radio tagged adult salmon were trucked from Mactaquac and released in the Saint John River near Woodstock. Fixed receivers with antennas will be maintained near Woodstock, Beechwood Dam, and Tobique Dam to determine arrival and departure times of the tagged salmon. Manual tracking will also occur.  The objective of the study is to determine holding pools, migration patterns, and spawning locations of the ‘Serpentine stock’.

The Serpentine stock is thought to enter the Saint John River estuary in December (one year prior to spawning), upon return from ocean feeding grounds.  Prior to the establishment of hydroelectric dams along the Saint John River (dam completion dates: Tobique – 1953, Beechwood – 1957, Mactaquac – 1968), these fish had ascended to the upper reaches of the Tobique River by May (nearly 300km from the mouth of the Saint John River).  Since the completion of dams, fish have been collected at Mactaquac and trucked to upper reaches of the watershed.

This telemetry study will offer the opportunity to assess the behavior of trucked adult salmon, and identify specific spawning locations of the unique ‘Serpentine’ stock.  The partners in this project are Woodstock First Nation, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, and the Atlantic Salmon Federation.

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