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General Manager’s Report     2011-2012

Administration:

  • keeping in contact with the Cascapedia Club secretary,  Mr. Rémi Bujold
  • Keep in contact with Wildlife and Parks, attended the Annual meeting of the River managers federation, and all other government bodies involved with the river (Nat. Res., transport Department, logging company etc.)
  • met camp managers about the rules and regulations for the river
  • Higher sales for 2012, increased participation in our reservation draw

Marketing:

  • Our web site up and running, web cam on the river to be install this spring.
  • Advertisement in Atlantic Salmon Journal , Destination Pêche à la mouche, our pamphlet was distributed in shows ( two in the States, one in New Brunswick).
  • We are getting phone calls from people who saw the different movies made in 2010 (4 Video show were made, One for France (Vue du Ciel), One from New York (Salmon lost at sea), one from California ( George Clark crew) and one from Québec (Taiga production on RDS and V chanel) . One made for the ASF in 2011 available on their web site.
  • The new secteur E3 was offer to the clientele, we sold 30 days for its debut season, an ATV side by side, four seater was bought for the operation.

Employee Management:     36 employees

  • More meetings and events. Salary increase in 2011 of 5%.  RRSP is our official pension plan, mandatory for all new employees.
  • Created two more student jobs in 2011.

Protection:

  • A stopping fence will be install below Minor Brook in order to prevent poaching on genitors swimming up the brook during summer.   Surveillance will occur at the fence.
  • 14 Wildlife protection assistants sworn in and 6 area wardens, we work in the estuary with the Native wardens
  • met with provincial game wardens about the protection plan
  • All our four camps are open and occupied 24/7 by our game wardens to discourage poaching. These camps are strategically located at important pools. We purchased a second  4 seats car last year to increase the proportion of stationary surveillance without our car in sight
  • With regards to poaching we had a few cases last year. We saw evidence of it on the Salmon Branch.

Salmon population follow-up and stocking:

Fishing under Mandatory catch and release for the entire season in 2012

Season

Salmon caught

Salmon

Killed

Salmon released

% Released

Diving Count

1997(1)

785

723

62

8%

1240

1998(2)

665

490

175

26%

      935 (4)

1999(2)

1012

508

504

50%

1540

2000(3)

722

257

465

64%

1306

2001

1027

323

704

69%

1258

2002

1171

298

873

74%

    1341 (5)

2003(6)

1679

325

1354

81%

    2656 (7)

2004

1470

291

1179

80%

    1629 (8)

2005

1454

195

1259

87%

2297

2006

994

172

822

83%

2157

2007

786

103

683

87%

   1279 (4)

2008

1026

150

876

85%

1108

2009

1162

107

1055

91%

1800

2010

1422

54

1368

96%

2375

2011

2 713

98  (43 L)

2 615

96%

4189  (4) 

(1)           no fishing in September

(2)           catch and release for the month of September

(3)           catch and release for the months of August and September

(4)           estimation made by the government due to bad weather

(5)           independent count: 1108 big and 233 grilse

(6)           count made mid September

(7)           2739 with the 83 genitor in the hatchery

(8)           estimation made by the government: due to high water level a count could not be made.  A partial count in the salmon branch showed 228 genitors, it is more than the regular count for a total coverage of the water.

  • The smolts run follow-up was impossible to do because of the high water level in May and June.  We could although catch the 50 smolts required by the ASF Tracking Program.
  •  Remember that in 2010, the estimate count was 300 000 smolts. We  can expect a proportion of 1% to return, it represents about 3000 salmons.
  • The stocking program showed some major problems with the difficult survival of the genitors last fall, poor egg quality and sedimentation from high water level brought low survival during incubation.
  • Many salmon were seen dead right after the Spawning season, one female was dead before laying the eggs, a situation to be monitored closely next fall with MRNF Biologist.

Fishing :

  • An increase of 8.6 % of fishing days, 4 384  in 2011, compare to 4  036 fishing days in 2010 (3 866 in 2009) on the whole river.  A sky rocket succ0ess rate of 0.62%. We went from 0.17 to 0.25, 0.30, 0.35 from 2007to 2010, this is great news for the angler, it takes less than 2 days on the average to hook one salmon
  • See Table for fishing stats per camps
  • We are in a process of changing all the river signs, since they fade out.

Habitat

  • We had two study made at Forks pool by two different Consultants, They both showed the complexity of the situation especially with the very low stability of the Lake Branch above Forks.  The Board had decided not to do any works for the moment; we will monitor the situation very closely.

Miscellanous

  • The Ministry of Transportation of Quebec improved the quality of the work executed on Route 299. The ditches are green and rocking occurred on the exit to the river.
  • Job at Stanley is composed of very large rocks, let’s hope it last.
  • Purchase of the private land at Meg’s pool for the Youth fishing program.

Acknowledgements

  • Again we want to thank the Atlantic Salmon Federation and the Québec Wildlife Department for their contribution.
  • I especially want to thank the staff for their efforts to meet customer’s needs, also, we want to salute the work of  Mrs. Delphine Paul who was guiding on the river for more than 13 years, Mrs Valerie Moreau serve as Biologist for 2 years, many thanks to them, we wish them good luck in their projects.
  • And finally I would like to salute the Board of Directors for their work

PRESIDENT’S REPORT 2011-2012

Good evening ladies and gentlemen,

Thank you for being here tonight at our information session.

I would like to take this opportunity to introduce the Directors: Mr. Guy Condo, Mr. Francis Gideon, Mr. Luc Martin, Mr. Jason Jerome, Mr. Quentin Condo, Mr. Real Bujold, Mr. Herbert Cochrane, Mr. Terry Bujold,

Mr. Jimmy MacDonald and  Mr. Ricky Barter. The officers are Pat St-Onge, Vice-President,Marc Gauthier, Treasurer, Darlene Sexton, secretary and myself, Donald Caplin, president.

My report is a resume of the directors’ activities and decisions taken during the last year, we had six meetings during the year, with the public meeting.  We had a committee working on a Strategic Plan and one that is working on the renewal of our major agreements, especially the one on net fishing.

In order to maintain communication with our major partners: Band Council, Municipal Council and the Cascapedia Clubs, we had a meeting in May 2011

to discuss Strategic activities,  and one this morning to talk about the Agreements. The mandate is to establish a clear vision for the future of the river.

The number of salmon in the river system was the best in decades with an estimate of 4 000 genitors on the spawning grounds.

It is going to be the first year of a new release regulation:  Mandatory catch and release for the whole season,  that apply to the whole river system.

After witnessing proof of poaching on the Salmon Branch sanctuary,  we decided to open the sector to fishing, It is going to be the new E3 zone with guide, an ATV Tour up to the Falls.

The Cascapedia Club have new co-owner at Middlecamp: Bombardier.

Last summer meeting of the Clubs with Society representant was somewhat unfriendly.

Our verified financial statement shows a good accumulated surplus and cash flow and no debt.  We are in the position to invest on river projects.

Salmon fishing Youth Camp to be held August 6 to 9 with camping at Meg’s pool, 6 teen (between 12 and 15) from both communities are invited, for a total of 12.  Our first experiment last year proved to be enjoyable for the participants.  Also, we announce that it will be possible to bring children under 16, fishing on the guided zone or wade fishing free of charge when wade fishing .

Thanks again to many partners, the Band Council and Chief Guy Condo, Pat St-Onge Mayor of  Cascapedia-St-Jules, the Cascapedia Clubs secretary Rémi Bujold,  and the Quebec Government .

Thank you for your attention and please keep your question for the period in a few minutes.

Cher(e) Pêcheurs de la Cascapédia,

 Quelle saison fantastique!  Des captures en nombre record et en santé, voir plus gros que d’habitude, avec quelques spécimens au delà de 40 lbs.  L’océan a été plus généreux et l’impact de l’entente d’arrêt de la pêche au filet porte fruits.  Mais les captures parle d’elle-même : 2500 saumons remis à l’eau et c’es un chiffre conservateur car les captures ne sont parfois pas toute rapportées.  Comme 100% des saumons ne mondent pas à la mouche, on peut estimer à 3750 le nombre de géniteur laissés sur les frayères.  Cette situation représente un record de capture de tout les temps et un nombre de géniteur jamais égalé depuis la fondation de la Société Cascapedia en 1982.  

 Au niveau de nos activités biologiques, c’est une saison difficile : pas d’estimé de la dévalaison des saumoneaux, pas d’inventaire de juvéniles par pêche électrique, pas de saumons capturés pour la pisciculture et pas de décompte. À ce jour, nous n’avons réussi de justesse à fournir les 50 saumoneaux pour le programme de télémétrie.  Nous avons aussi procéder a des ensemencements sur le secteur A et sur le ruisseau des Mineurs.  Le ruisseau des Mineurs, tributaire de la branche du Lac, à connu une montaison certaine et la Société analyse la possibilité de mettre une clôture d’arrêt de façon a conservé les géniteurs dans la Branche pour mieux en faire la surveillance.  

 Nous avons tenu en mai, une journée thématique sur un plan stratégique pour la rivière en présence de représentant du conseil de Bande des Micmacs de Gesgapegiag, du conseil municipal de Cascapédia-St-Jules et d’un représentant des camps privé.  Tous étaient d’accort pour dire qu’ils ont aimé échanger sur les points importants pour le futur de la rivière et aimeraient que cela devienne une activité annuelle.

 Nous participerons aux négociations qui débutent bientôt sur quatre ententes qui touchent la rivière : L’entente de pêche au filet, celle avec le Cascapedia Club, cette avec le conseil de bande sur leur quatre perches et celle qui nous lie au gouvernement du Québec.  Un comité de négociation a été formé.  

 Nous offrions pour une troisième année consécutive le chalet du Lynn’s Brook en location, (50 nuits en 2011). Ceci vous permet d’éviter plus de deux heures de routes et de dormir au son de la rivière avec tout le charme rustique d’en camp de gardien.   Nous devons être moins généreux avec le forfait privilège du a la forte demande pour la pêche sur les secteurs D2 et E2.  Le secteur B pourra toujours faire partie du forfait s’il est disponible la veille mais le domaine pêchable sans guide sera réduit à la branche au saumon (upper en pm) soit principalement la fosse Megs (103) et aux fosses 88 am et 87 pm.  

 Nous avons amélioré notre portail web qui comporte une vidéo promotionnelle plus de photos, une webcam et un lien vers fiches de participation du tirage pour les réservations.  On y trouve le niveau d’eau en direct et bien d’autre information.  

 Nous avons organisé un camp de pêche au saumon pour les jeunes de Gesgapegiag et de Cascapédia-St-Jules qui a été un franc succès.  Les jeunes ont appris les rudiments de la pêche au saumon, la vie en camping en forêt,  du canotage et tout cela en s’amusant (lire la suite sur notre Blog).  Un gros merci a l’équipe de la maison des jeunes « Point de Mire » de Verdun, de la Fondation de la Faune du Québec, a notre biologiste et a nos préposé a l’accueil qui ont participé, tous les moniteurs étaient fatigué mes content.  

 Pour votre sécurité et celle de nos employés, Valérie Moreau, biologiste a rédigé un plan d’urgence et a superviser la confection d’une unité d’urgence avec matériel de sauvetage dont un défibrillateur.  Tous nos guides possèdent une unité « Spot » capable d’active le service 911 par satellite.  

 Parmi les projets majeurs pour 2012 mentionnons la remise à l’eau obligatoire pour toute la saison, en appuie à la reconduction de l’arrêt des pêches au filet par la Communauté Micmac, la mise à niveau de la signalisation avec de nouveau panneaux et en plus grand nombre.  Aussi la situation de la fosse Forks parait inquiétante et demande un suivi, voire des aménagements.  Nous ouvrirons la pêche dans la Branche aux saumons jusqu’aux chutes des 17 miles en forfait pêche découverte à VTI.  Nous avons découvert des preuves de braconnage sur ce territoire inutilisé.  

 Il ne me reste qu’a remercie nos 35 employés et notre conseil d’administration (dont la moitié des membres sont Micmac).

 Merci à vous fidele pêcheur de la « Grande » Cascapédia sans qui tout ceci n’aurait pas lieu.  

 Supportons la FSA dans ses efforts d’obtenir une entente avec le Groenland et le program de télémétrie des saumoneaux de l’Université de Dalhousie.  Supportons aussi les Micmac et le gouvernement du Québec dans la reconduction de l’entente et pêche au filet.  

 Salmonicolement vôtre,

 Marc Gauthier

Directeur Général

September 2011 

 Dear Anglers of the Cascapedia,

 What a fantastic fishing season! We had a record number of catches not to say bigger captures than usual with a few fish above 40 lb. The ocean was more generous and the impacts of the net fishing agreement are seen. However, the captures speak for themselves with 2500 fish caught and released. It is a conservative number given that not all captures are reported. Considering 100% of the salmon do not always take the fly, we estimated to 3750 the number of salmon on the breeding grounds. This situation is an all-time record in terms of number of captures and a record number of salmon in the river since the creation of the Cascapedia Society in 1982. 

 As far as the biological chapter of our activities, it wasn’t so easy: no smolt count, no electro fishing to do an inventory of the juvenile in the river, no salmon were captured for the stocking program, no salmon count. To this date, we were not able to complete these activities given the high level of the river and the low visibility of the water. We barely managed to provide 50 smolt for the telemetry program. On the lighter side, we stocked the A sector and the Miner brook with our frys. The Miner brook, a tributary of the Lake Branch, has seen a certain number of salmon running up in it and the Society is considering installing a fence in order to retain the salmon in the Lake Branch and protect them better.

 Last May, we held a strategic planning day for the river with members of the Band Council of Gesgapegiag, of the Municipal Council of Cascapedia-St-Jules and one representative of the private camps. Everybody agreed that the future of the river is important and would like to see this become an annual event.   

 We will partake in the negotiations that are about to begin on the four agreements in relation to this river: net fishing agreement, the Cascapedia Club agreement, the agreement of four rods managed by the Band Council and the agreement with the Quebec government. A negotiation committee has been created.

 This summer was the third season for which we offered the rental of a cabin at Lynn’s Brook (50 nights in 2011). This allows you to save two hours in travelling and to fall asleep to the sound of the river with all the charms of a rustic warden’s camp. We have to be a little less generous with the package due to the high demand for fishing in D2 and E2. The B sector can still be part of a package if it is available the day before however, the fishing beats without guide will be reduced to the Salmon Branch (upper in pm) namely, Megs (103) and pools 88 am and 87 pm.

 We improved our website that now has a promotional video, more pictures, a webcam, the water level, a link to the draw forms, and much more information. We organized a youth fishing camp for the kids of Gesgapegiag and Cascapedia-St-Jules and it was a big hit. The kids learned the basics of salmon fishing, lived the camping life, canoed and had fun (read the complete story on the blog). We are thankful to the “Maison des Jeunes Point de Mire” from Verdun, to the Fondation de la Faune du Québec, to our biologist and to our customer service staff who participated. All of our instructors were tired but happy.

 For your safety and our employees safety, Valérie Moreau, biologist, wrote up an emergency plan and supervised the making of an emergency trailer unit with all the material we could need in the case of an emergency which among other things is a defibrillator (DEA). All of our guides have a “Spot” system that is capable of calling 911 using a satellite signal.

 Among our major projects for 2012:  we are going in catch and release mode all season in support of the renewal of the net fishing agreement; we will renew all our road signs, add some which were needed and make them bigger. The Forks pool situation is preoccupying and will require careful attention not to say remediation work. We are opening the sanctuary in the Salmon Branch up to the 17 miles in an ATV-fishing package. We found several proofs of poaching in this unused part of the territory.

 Lastly, I want to thank our 35 employees and the members of our board (from which half are Micmac).

 Thanks to you, our loyal anglers of the Grand Cascapedia, without you none of this would take place.

 We will offer our support and encouragement to:  the ASF in their effort to come to an agreement with Greenland; The Dalhousie University telemetry program to track smolt; The Micmac community and the government of Quebec in the renewal of the net fishing agreement. 

 Salmonly yours 

  Marc Gauthier

General Manager

salmon fishing camp

Monday, August 1

We left the Society’s office and went to our camping in Premiere Est on the Bonaventure River. During our first meeting all together, we introduced ourselves. We are 11 participants from Cascapedia-St-Jules and Gesgapegiag. They are 6 guides from the Maison des Jeunes Point de Mire in Verdun  (http://mdjpointdemire.com/). The program is unique; it is meant to be “for the kids by the kids”. The guides are 16 or 17 years old and the participants 12 to 14.  Some participants had fly fishing experience. Autumn, Alex and Ryan have been fishing with their dad and Kurt even caught salmon before. Some participants never held a fly fishing rod in their hands before. Then, we talked about provincial laws, fly fishing etiquette and the rules of the camp.

In the afternoon, we split the group in two. The first group stays at the camp for a fly tying workshop and the second group went to the casting clinic a couple kilometres away by the river. Fly tying is fun, pretty colours, all kinds of hairs and feathers, we let our creativity speak while learning the basics.

When the first group returned, we switched.  At this point in the afternoon, we can hear thunder far away… the second group never made it to the site of casting, the van got a flat tire… The rumble we could hear earlier has caught up with us and it is now raining hard. A brave guide changed the flat tire while it was pouring rain.  The campsite and the kitchen are protected by a huge tarp therefore, nobody seems to really care that it is raining this hard.

The rain calms down just in time for supper. We tell the kids they will be getting up at 5:00am the next morning. Everybody rushes to bed. It is 9:30 and in 5 minutes will begin a “thunder and lighting show”. Thunder is so close and so strong that the ground is shaking at times. It is pouring rain and I wonder if anyone’s tent leaks. All the kids are in their tents, talking, laughing and having a great time. This will go on for the next 2 hours…

Tuesday, August 2

5:00am. Some of the kids are up earlier than others. Some of the kids are more motivated than others. The hardcore sportmans show up at the kitchen to eat breakfast wearing their waders. They are ready and excited! We can’t fit everyone in the van so we decide to split the group. On our way to the pool, the camp leader of Maison des Jeune Point-de-Mire gives everyone a nicely decorated fly box with a Picasse and a Stone Ghost in it. It is a gift from Marc Gauthier, the initiator of this trip and general manager of the Cascapedia Society. What a nice gift!

The first group arrives to Run-a-pit pool on the Bonaventure river. No one is in sight. YEAH!!!! We have the pool to ourselves! Run-a-pit is a great spot with plenty of space to fit everyone. The river is foggy. It is 6:45 and it feels like the sun itself is dragging his feet and didn’t want to get up this morning. Our guides helps their fisherman getting their rod set up and flies tied. Kurt makes the first cast, Alex and Ryan are right behind. On the second pass, we start to see some action. One rose a salmon. 

Simon and Nicolas are fishing for the first time in their life. They are already hooked to the sport. Billy did not want to fish at first and got bored. After long minutes watching the others, he figured he might as well give it a try after all… maybe time would pass faster. He tried and liked it and fished the remaining of the morning.

The “ladies” (our 3 girls participant aka the three musqueteers) had not had a chance to learn and practice casting the night before (remember flat tire…) so they did on that morning. Their guide has moderate success in getting them to practice their cast. Maybe they will try again a little later.

A light rain starts to fall. We all put our rain jacket and head back into the water. All we can hear is the trickling sound of the rain and an occasional “OH!” or “Did you see that?” from a kid who just had a salmon jump 10 feet away from him.

Happiness is salmon fishing with your buddies.

The game warden came for a visit and among them is Ryan’s dad. He shows us a alternate way to tie the fly. Even game wardens have a couple tricks up their sleeves to impress our guides…

It is 12:00 and we all head back to the campground for lunch and a “chill out”  afternoon or a nap. 3:00 pm, we head down to Green and Malin pools. No need to worry about hitting a deer on the road, I am convinced that the music from our van can be heard miles and miles ahead. Techno-electro-pop and other cool “poum-ti-poum-poum” music is playing so loud that I can feel the vibration of the speaker on the van door. Some shake their shoulders and dance, some clap their hands, the coolest kids bob their head anticipating the next pool we’ll be fishing.

Nobody is fishing Green pool and there are already a couple fisherman at the Malin so we will all stick to Green. Some of the kids are not used to walking in the river with their waders and all. Within 5 minutes, Billy, Desmond and Simon will all take a wrong step and fall into the water. For Simon, it is his third time falling into the water today… this is turning into a running gag.  Fortunately, we are all wearing a life jacket and a belt. Life jacket are mandatory in camp and after witnessing this series of falls, I am absolutely convinced that it is a good thing. After a couple hours at Green pool, some participants are tired (or wet!) and want to go back to the campground. The hardcore sportmans want to do the evening fishing. We split to group in two and head up river to Run-a-pit pool again. It is wasn’t for the law and their belly starting to be hungry, I think these sportmans would’ve fished all night.

We can clearly see by now that we have two kinds of participants: the “Sports” and the “Chills”. We decide that the Sports will be fishing the Petite Rivière Cascapedia tomorrow and the Chills will take it easy and fish the Bonaventure River. The Petite Cascapedia about 1 hour driving. The Sports have to get up at 4:00am. Tonight, everybody is tired from their day outdoor and the chats and giggles will go on for about a half an hour. Rain starts again.

Wednesday, August 3.

4:30am… somebody slept through the alarm! Kurt, Alex, Ryan, Nic, Simon and Austin are ready, lunches are packed, gear is in the van and we leave for the Petite. When we get to our pools, our friend Gilbert is waiting for us. Gilbert is a game warden for the Petite but he is also a guide at times. He shows us our pools, gives us advices on how to fish the run and which flies to use. We will fish the Forks and Arthur pools. We thank him, split the group in two and decide that we’ll meet for lunch and do a rotation on the pools at 13:00.

Kurt and Alex make a fire to keep the mosquitoes away. Kurt wants to catch a trout and cook it on the fire. He ask me to find a large flat rock to cook his trout. I tell him that if he catch a trout, I will have a flat rock ready for him. He goes back to his fishing determined.

Simon, Nic and Austin are fishing the other pool. Nic went for an unforeseen swim (he slipped on the rocks…). This will not stop these Sports and they kept on fishing all day. Austin took a private lesson on Spey casting with his guide and LOVES IT! By the end of the day, these three are fishing buddies.

In the afternoon, Alex, Kurt and Ryan took a break to look at each other’s flies they brought to camp. “This one I tied myself… This one my dad gave to me… This one is cool…”. After their little fly social and snack, they go back to fish. Alex caught the first fish of the camp: a cute trout!

Meanwhile, the Ladies, Desmond and Billy fished the Bonaventure river in the morning. Seeing that everyone of the Chills group is likely bored and tired of fishing by 12:00, the group headed back to the campground with their guides. There, they spent the afternoon taking is easy at the campground painting rocks and making friendship bracelets. This camp being a introduction camp, we could’nt expect every participant to enjoy fly fishing nor to fish for hours on end. As adults and guides of the group, we could only do our best to get them to give fly fishing an earnest try. They did and were rewarded for their effort with a fun activity. The Ladies told me that night that they truely enjoyed their morning fishing and were looking forward to fish again friday morning. This is mission accomplished for me.

Thursday, august 4

Fishing is fun but today we are doing something different: we are canoeing the Grand Cascapedia! We still got up early: we had to pack our camp and tents because we will be camping out by the sea tonight. We meet with Marc at the Society’s office and head up to Limestone where our trip will start. 

The Grand has some calmer water where we can all get the canoes together and chat and once in a while there are little rapids which are also super fun to canoe through. We stop for lunch, the sun is out and some decides to go for a swim. We all know that ahead lies the mighty Princess rapids. Once we get there, everyone decides if they want to canoe the rapids or take the back run. Some make it without flipping, some flip their canoe, some will jump into the rapids and swim down. We are having a BLAST! This is so much fun! It is almost as much fun to watch the others come down the rapids as it is to go down it. Some canoe down the rapids a second time. We finish our trip at the bridges and head down to the beach on the Gesgapegiag reserve.

After setting up our tent and rebuilding our camp, everybody gets ready for a special activity: a native traditional sweat lodge. Peewee will guide everyone throught the process and explain the signification and the tradition of the sweat lodge. It is a time to purify both the body and the soul. It is a time to reflect and pray in our heart and relax and warm up our muscles. Everyone enjoyed it and feels the benefits of this activity. Upon return to the camp, we can all feel that the energy has changed, it is peace and harmony, beauty and… hunger! Thanks to Marc-the-chef, we had an amazing supper of salmon and rice. We lit a giant bombfire by the beach and chilled out until time for bed. We did not heard anyone talking or giggling that night.

Friday, August 5

This is our last day of camp. Getting up is painful but we all push ourselves knowing that we are fishing Zhe Grand Cascapedia, the greatest of all river. This is the chance to catch a salmon, this is the last chance this week. This is IT. The sky is clear, the sun is out, we head up to the Society’s office to catch our daily passes and drive to the Salmon branch. Once there, we split into teams and dispatch everyone. We will fish untill 12:00 and go down back to the Society’s office for lunch, the final meeting and goodbyes.

Simon rose a salmon, Ryan caught a big trout, the Ladies and Desmond fished for most of the morning.

The drive down is quieter. No loud music, not much talking. We are exhausted and happy. What a great experience, what a great week! We did not caught salmon!? So what?! This week, we learned fly fishing, we made friends, we lived the outdoor life, we visited beautiful rivers, we defeated the rain, we saw some action, we proved to ourselves that we were real sportsmans. We have the rest of our lives to catch salmon. We are young.

 

 

 

 

 

 

This post is special to me. I spent all winter nurturing these little salmon eggs and came the time to let them go. Here is my story!

Ce blog a une place spéciale dans mon coeur.  Après avoir passé l’hiver à m’occuper de mes petits oeufs de saumon, c’est maintenant le temps de les remettre en rivière. Voici mon histoire!

 Mercredi 22 juin

We prepared 30 000 fry into 12 bags and brought them to some of Lorne Cottage’s guests and to the guides. They kindly accepted to do the stocking into the A zone. After a brief explanation, off they go. The guides promised to take good care of the frys and I am sure they did. This is my first experience at stocking fry that I cared for and I am somewhat emotionnal. I took care of them for many months and they have to fend for themselves now.

Nous avons préparé 12 sacs contenant 30 000 alevins que nous avons apporté aux gens et aux guides de Lorne Cottage. Ils ont gentiment acceptés d’effectuer les opérations d’ensemencement dans la zone A. Après quelques explications, tout le monde est parti. Les guides ont promis de bien s’occuper de mes alevins et je suis sûre qu’il l’ont fait. C’est ma première expérience d’ensemencement des alevins que j’ai élevé tout l’hiver et je suis légèrement renversée par l’émotion alors que je les regarde partir. Je me suis occupé de mes petits pendant les mois d’hiver mais ils devront se défendre seuls à partir de maintenant. La boucle est bouclée.

 

Jeudi 23 juin

This is my turn to have fun…

À mon tour d’avoir du plaisir…

With the help of David, we packed 15 000 frys into bags and take off for a drive up river. In total, 5 000 frys were stoked in Berry Mountain Brook, 6 000 into the Go-Ashore and 4 000 into Miner brook.

Avec l’aide de David, nous avons préparé environ 15 000 alevins et sommes partis pour une balade en amont de la rivière. Au total, 5 000 alevins ont été relachés dans le ruisseau Berry, 6 000 dans le ruisseau Echouement et 4 000 dans le ruisseau Mineur.

Samedi 25 juin.

It is the boss turn to have fun.

C’est le tour du boss d’avoir du plaisir.

Miner Brook, 50 mile bridge. Marc and his partner are getting ready with all 18 000 frys left to stock. They will canoe down the brook on 23 km. The bag are transported in the hexactic with ice packs. The atmosphere in the bag is pure oxygen.

Ruisseau des mineurs, pont du 50. Marc et sa conjointe se préparent à partir avec le reste des alevins. Ils parcoureront 23 km en canot pour ensemencer des alevins partout. Les sacs sont transportés dans l’hexactic avec de la glace. L’atmosphère dans les sacs est de l’oxygène pur.

 

The last word goes to Gina the salmon herder who was great company on the cold winter morning.

Le dernier mot revient a Gina le berger des saumons qui fût une compagnonne hors pair les matins d’hiver.

 

 

 

 

 

smolt wheel 2011

The smolt wheel is usually the first project to start my working season. Therefore, I thought about showing how we put this big rig into the water…

Les opérations de trappe à saumoneaux sont habituellement le premier projet de ma saison de travail. Ainsi, j’ai pensé vous présenter quelques photos de la mise à l’eau.

This is the rock onto which the smolt wheel is tethered. When the water level is above 200 m3/sec, water flows over the rock and we have to wait. At these levels, any work on the river is very dangerous and the trap can’t function. The picture below shows the river at a level of 153 m3/sec. It is barely enough to hook the cable but we decided to give it a try anyway.

Voici la roche sur laquelle la trappe est attachée par un long câble. Lorsque le débit de la rivière est supérieur à 200 m3/sec, l’eau passe par-dessus la roche et la trappe ne peut pas opérer. Le travail sur l’eau est dangereux. La photo ci-dessous montre la roche lorsque le débit de la rivière est à 153 m3/sec. C’est la limite pour être capable d’attacher le câble sur la roche mais on a décidé d’essayer quand même.

The smolt wheel has its own custom trailer. It slides off the trailer into the water very easily… almost too easily. This rig is heavy and therefore, I have a good team of strong helpers to control its launching and avoid damage.

La trappe est apportée sur une remorque faite sur mesure. Elle glisse facilement de sa remorque à l’eau… presque trop facilement. La trappe est très lourde. Par conséquent, j’ai une bonne équipe d’hommes-forts qui aident à contrôler la mise à l’eau et ainsi éviter les dommages.

Now that the trap is in the water, we have to hook the cable to the rock… unroll the cable on the rock, tie a nylon rope to the cable, bring the rope to shore, pull the rope with a truck until we reached the end of the cable… tie the smolt wheel to the other end of the cable and let the smolt wheel drift downstream until the cable is straight and tight and the smolt wheel is in position.

Maintenant que la trappe est à l’eau, il faut attacher le câble d’acier sur la roche…dérouler le câble d’acier pour y attacher une corde plus légère, rapporter la corde jusqu’à la berge… et tirer la corde avec un camion pour finalement attraper le bout du câble d’acier, attacher la trappe à l’autre bout du câble d’acier et laisser la trappe dériver jusqu’à sa position au bout du câble.

THE RESULTS 2011

LES RÉSULTATS 2011

This year was not a good year for smolt trapping… The water level was so high that we could only fish with the wheel for 4 days at the very end of the run. Therefore, we missed the peak of the run and most of the smolts were long gone when the water levels finally dropped. 

Cette année s’est avérée être une mauvaise année pour opérer la trappe à saumoneaux. Le niveau d’eau de la rivière était tellement haut pendant plusieurs jours que nous n’avons pu pêcher avec la trappe que quelques jours à la fin de la dévalaison. Par conséquent, nous avons complètement raté le pic de dévalaison et les saumoneaux étaient déjà partis lorsque le niveau de la rivière a finalement baissé assez pour nous permettre de remettre la trappe en marche.

Below is the graph of the water level for the whole year (blue/red line). If you look closely… We put the smolt wheel into the water on May 19th when it was below 200 m3/sec… And then it started raining until June 4th! And sunny days made the snow melt in the woods which bring extra water into the river. Ohhhh misery! 

 Le graphique ci-dessous présente le niveau d’eau de la rivière pour la dernière année (tracé bleu ou rouge). Si on regarde de plus près, nous avons placé la trappe à saumoneaux à l’eau le 19 mai lorsque le niveau était en dessous des 200 m3/sec… et les jours suivants, il s’est mis à pleuvoir jusqu’au 4 juin! Le peu de soleil et de chaleur durant cette période a fait fondre la neige dans le bois ce qui apporte encore plus d’eau dans la rivière. Quelle misère!!

 The final estimated count for this year is 66 ooo smolts. It is a number that doesn’t not reflect the reality given the very few days that we operated the smolt wheel! Last year, we estimated the smolt population at 295 000.

Le compte final de saumoneaux pour l’année 2011 est de 66 000. C’est trop peu et ne reflète pas la réalité vu le nombre limité de jours où nous avons pu opérer la trappe. L’an passé, nous avons estimé à 295 000, le nombre de saumoneaux qui ont quitté la rivière.