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Research Projects
Returns of Captive-reared Atlantic salmon to Inner Bay of Fundy Rivers

This September approximately 495 adult grilse were released near the northern side of the inner Bay of Fundy.  This release effort resulted from collaboration between the Atlantic Salmon Federation, Parks Canada, Department of Fisheries and Oceans, and the Atlantic Canada Fish Farmers Association.

The fish released in September were collected from the Upper Salmon River in 2010 as smolt and reared until release at either industry sea cage sites in Charlotte County and at the DFO Hatchery in Mactaquac NB.  Contributions from the Atlantic Salmon Federation, Dalhousie University’s Ocean Tracking Network, DFO and Parks Canada resulted in a sample of the cage reared fish being outfitted with acoustic tags, that were surgically implanted by ASF researchers. All fish reared at cage sites were originally released to the river themselves as either unfed-fry or 6-month feeding parr. These tags will be detected by receivers, which were supplied by ASF for use in the Upper Salmon, Point Wolfe and nearby rivers.  The intent of the tracking study will be to determine if these fish have the ability to return to rivers, whether they return to rivers they smoltified in and finally, whether conservation release strategy (as fry or parr) affects these measures.

Tracking of these fish will continue into early November with select receivers being checked and downloaded at least once per week. To complement receiver data, snorkel surveys are being conducted by Fundy National Park Resource Conservation Staff, assisted by ASF research staff to spot returning fish in the rivers they appear to be entering.

Only a small portion of deployed receivers are regularly checked, mainly in the Point Wolfe and Upper Salmon Rivers, and as of Oct. 7, 16 of 44 tags have been detected in these two rivers.  Final results on return estimates from their project should be available by end of 2011.

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