Atlantic Salmon Habitat Assessment

For the past five years MREAC, with the Atlantic Salmon Conservation Foundation (ASCF) support, has completed Atlantic Salmon habitat assessments on the Bay du Vin River, Bartibog River, Barnaby River and Bartholomew River drainage basins.  In 2018 MREAC will continue to focus on the Bartholomew River and complete a management plan for this system.

The Bartholomew River Drainage Basin

The Miramichi River Environmental Assessment Committee (MREAC) engaged in an Atlantic salmon habitat assessment on the Bartholomew River drainage basin to determine if this drainage basin maintains habitat requirements that sufficiently provide an important contribution to regional stocks of Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar).

Two representative river reaches, Bartholomew @ CABIN site and Bartholomew @ Foxner, were surveyed using the DNR&E / DFO – New Brunswick Stream Habitat Inventory field form.  The two reaches had a combined linear distance of 2503 meters, and of the 61 kilometer meander length 22 kilometers were travelled by canoe.  Visual observations were noted and points of interest were recorded and investigated.

In order to get a better understanding of the thermal regime of the Bartholomew River, water temperature data loggers were deployed at five sites during the open fishing season.  This was important since cooler water temperatures are important in maintaining a healthy environment for salmonids.  A suite of water quality samples were collected at the CABIN site and sent to RPC laboratory in Fredericton for analysis.  The results were obtained for their Surface Water Package and E.coli.  Historical data and land-use were also taken into consideration during the assessment process.

The Barnaby River Drainage Basin

The Miramichi River Environmental Assessment Committee (MREAC) engaged in an Atlantic
salmon habitat assessment on the Barnaby River drainage basin in the spring and summer of
2015 in order to determine if the drainage basin maintains habitat requirements that sufficiently
provide an important contribution to regional stocks of Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar).

Three representative river reaches were surveyed using the DNR&E / DFO – New Brunswick
Stream Habitat Inventory field form.  The three reaches (Barnaby @ HWY 126, Barnaby @
Semiwagan Road, and Semiwagan Stream @ Semiwagan Road) had a combined linear distance
of 3000 meters.  Of the 51.5 kilometer Barnaby River meander length, 30 kilometers were
travelled by canoe.  Visual observations were noted and points of interest were recorded for
further investigation.

Three sites were also monitored for water temperature via data loggers (HOBO U20 and TidbiT
v2) which were deployed early in the field monitoring season and extracted late in the season.  Understanding the thermal regime was important since cooler water temperatures are important
to maintain a healthy environment for salmonids.

A set of water quality samples were collected near the three data logger sites and analyzed for
various parameters (*B package and E.coli) at the Department of Environment and Local
Government’s (DELG) laboratory in Fredericton, New Brunswick.  Land-use and available
historical data and events were taken into consideration during the assessment process.

The Bartibog River Drainage Basin

The Miramichi River Environmental Assessment Committee (MREAC) engaged in an Atlantic
salmon habitat assessment on the Bartibog River drainage basin in the spring and summer
months of 2014.  Three representative reaches were surveyed using the DNR&E / DFO – New
Brunswick Stream Habitat Inventory field form.  Two suites of water quality samples were
collected at selected sites and analyzed for the Department of Environment and Local
Government’s (DELG) *B package and E.coli.  Historical data and events were also taken into
consideration during the assessment process.

The assessment focused on three reaches (top, middle, and bottom) having a combined linear
distance of 3000 meters.  Of the 60 kilometer meander length of the Bartibog River, 21
kilometers were travelled by canoe.  Other points along the river, access via forestry roads, were
also investigated.  Visual observations were noted and points of interest were recorded for further
investigation.

 

The Bay du Vin River Drainage Basin

The Miramichi River Environmental Assessment Committee (MREAC) engaged in an Atlantic
salmon habitat assessment on the Bay du Vin River drainage basin in the spring and summer
months of 2013.  The DNR&E / DFO – New Brunswick Stream Habitat Inventory field form
was adopted as the main component of the assessment.  MREAC staff and volunteers applied
this inventory to three representative reaches.  Two sets of water quality samples for Department
of the Environment and Local Government’s (DELG) *B package and E.coli were collected at
these three reaches.  Historical data and events were also taken into consideration during the
assessment process.

Of the 50 km meander length of the Bay du Vin River, 32 km were travelled by canoe.  Many
other points of access were visually inspected off of Highway 440 and the Bay du Vin River
Road.  The assessment focused on three reaches; top, middle, and bottom, having a combined
linear distance of 3 kilometers.

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