Miramichi Salmon News, Late Winter 2020
Fishing Friends – State of the Miramichi Atlantic Salmon Population: The Canadian ocean fisheries branch of the government, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans or DFO, has completed a report of the Miramichi and Resitgouche River fisheries for 2019. The full report is not available to the public just yet, but highlights of it have been released to the press and stakeholder organizations. The bottom line for the Miramichi is that the Atlantic salmon population of the Miramichi has reached the lowest levels ever recorded in both large salmon and grilse. The possible reasons blamed for the decline are somewhat diverse and include striped bass predation on smolts, abnormally cold temperatures in the Labrador Sea, forestry practices along the river, predation on adult salmon by seals in the Miramichi estuary, and overharvest of forage species in the ocean. Most North American Atlantic salmon populations have declined in recent years, but the formerly abundant Miramichi has been especially hard hit.
Mark Hambrook, president of the Miramichi Salmon Association “MSA” made these comments: “We see a conservation plan happening for the Miramichi watershed that includes both short-term solutions, like restocking programs, and longer-term measures such as a sustainable seal harvest and a commercial striped bass fishery, both proposed and executed by First Nations.” Hambrook also said preserving habitat areas along the watershed, eliminating invasive species like smallmouth bass, protecting cold-water sources along the Miramichi are key to saving Atlantic salmon in the Miramichi.
Personally I strongly support the MSA because their plans address basic issues such as these. The MSA is all about pulling out beaver dams blocking salmon spawning tributaries, enhancing the flows of cold water brooks, stocking salmon fry in needy areas of the river, and advocating strongly for things that need government approval such as bringing the striped bass population into natural harmony with Atlantic salmon, creating a seal harvest, applying rotenone to Miramichi Lake as needed to eliminate smallmouth bass, and netting young of the year striped bass to prove that striped bass spawn in more locations along the New Brunswick coast than just the N.W. Miramichi – an important consideration in liberalizing striped bass harvest. These are concrete things that we can actually do something about, and the MSA is a strong ally of all fishermen in that effort. The MSA does also have good access to DFO officials, and does their best to advise DFO on the conservatuion measures that the membership feels should be taken.
Online Auction and Raffle to Benefit the MSA: The beginning of our 2020 auction to benefit the Miramichi Salmon Assoc. is almost at hand. Bidding will open at 12:00 noon this Friday Jan. 31. Raffles are open right now, and there are still a good number of tickets available. Here is a link to the auction page.
The raffles link will also take you to our online raffle items page showing all three items. If you then just click on any one of the three raffle items it will take you to the page for that specific items. The page shows the number of that item in stock. That is the remaining number of raffle tickets for the item. We still have plenty for both the Orvis reel and Sage rod, but the flies are almost all sold out. Let’s put a big dent in these before the auction starts on Friday.
I have to say that I am really excited about the potential for this auction. We have a ton of really great stuff that should be of interest not only to salmon fishermen, but also their brides. I’ve made a list below that I hope includes everything in the auction. In many cases the description of the item alone doesn’t begin to do it justice. We were really fortunate with the generosity of so many people who really want to help Miramichi salmon. The Charles DeFeo print is a good example. Many of you will know that in the 50s and 60s DeFeo, a NY commercial artist, was giant name in the Atlantic salmon sport. What a find this print is! One of the readers of my blog list, Larry Little from Pennsylvania, just sent me an e-mail telling me how much the Miramichi has meant to him over the years and gave it to me for the auction. He is not alone in his generosity. I thank the donors, each and every one, and I hope that everyone will show their appreciation by bidding generously on this great array of items.
Want to hear more about how we will pick the raffle winners? Everyone’s ticket purchases are recorded by the software in a numbered list. I’m then going to this link to pick the winner. Just check it out, it’s amazing. You put in the total number of the tickets sold and the number of random numbers you want to pick – 1 for 1 winner – and then click go. The winning number is generated.
Here is a list of auction items. Don’t hesitate to e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions that you may have. Enjoy!
1. Charles DeFeo Salmon Print new condition, never framed or mounted
2. Cains River brook trout float trip including overnight at Mahoney Brook with Kevin Sabean
3. First copy of On the Cains by Brad Burns to be sold, remarqued by artist John Rice
4. Ashley Hallihan Green Machine Flies
5. Marc LeBlanc fly collection with Wheatly box
6. 2 3-day fishing trips to Black Brook Salmon Club
7. Fishing at Doctor’s Island, Campbell’s, Brophy Pool
8. 2 copies Mike Crosby book River Talk and flies by Mike Crosby.
9. June fly selection by Brad Burns
10. Ally’s Shrimp fly collection by Bill Utely
11. Gary Tanner Shadow box with fishing print and classic salmon flies
12. Cains River map from On the Cains by John Rice
13. Illustrations by John Rice from On the Cains
• Sailing the Cains fishing trip routes
• Timing of the Cains River salmon run
• Lee Sturges Journey
14. Several very high quality song bird and wildlife prints by top artists
15. Two Sci Anglers high end fly lines
16. Spring Cains River jet canoe tour and kelt fishing with Jason Curtis
17. Spey casting lessons with Topher Browne
18. Signed and remarqued book by NW Miramichi native son Will Johnson
19. Ducky hunting with Andy Dumaine from private camp in the Great Marsh
20. 3 fly collections in boxes by Rudy Ciecko
21. Grand Cascapedia Volume II signed by Hoagy Carmichael
22. Incredible High Water Buck salmon print by Alex L’Heureux
23. 3 Pair of Vermont made Darn Tough Socks from Marc Cabot
24. 3-day Spring fishing trip with lodging at Wilson’s
25. 3-day fishing trip to Ted Williams’ Lodge
26. Professional grade Val6 space heater
27. Spectacular original paintings by John Rice and Luther Hall
28. 3 raffles Orvis Mirage Reel, Flies Rudy Ciecko, Sage Fly Rod of your choice.
29. Photos of Portland Head Light and a Snowy Owl by Stephen Hobson
30. Fabulous “bar boat” canoe at Doctor’s Island enhanced photo print by Iris Ciecko
Over 40 lots in all!
Source: Brad Burns Fishing
Brad Burns has avidly pursued striped bass, brook trout, Atlantic salmon and a host of other game fish for over 50 years. He is the author of the L.L. Bean Fly Fishing for Striped Bass Handbook, and with John Cole co-authored Fly Fishing for Saltwater’s Finest in addition to this latest book Closing the Season. Brad has also written for many of the best known fly-fishing publications.