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.