Miramichi River Environmental Assessment CommitteeMarch 6, 2017
Every successful project starts out with a solid plan, but the key to making it really work is putting that plan into action.
With some help from some important allies and partners, the Miramichi River Environmental Assessment Committee (MREAC) did just that in 2016.
Thanks to $15,000 in grant funding from the Atlantic Salmon Conservation Foundation, the MREAC was able to complete their project, “Implementing the Bartibogue River Recreational Fishing Management Plan.”
In 2015, the MREAC starting working with the Bartibogue Fish and Game Association (BF&GA) and developed a recreational fishing management plan for the Bartibogue River and its branches.
A number of recommendations were part of the plan, including (but not limited to):
- additional temperature monitoring at two major pools on the Bartibogue;
- promoting best management practices among private woodlot owners to prevent negative watercourse impacts;
- using electrofishing techniques to determine the productivity levels of the various Bartibogue River branches;
- promoting awareness and appropriate management practices to protect species at risk and to mitigate the impact of invasive/introduced species.
The MREAC’s Harry Collins notes the Bartibogue River is an outstanding waterway that is undervalued by the majority and cherished by the few.
“It is a productive river for brook trout, including sea-run trout, and a significant river for fall-run Atlantic salmon,” he said. “Its reputation is local and especially valued by Miramichi residents who can access the river on a lazy afternoon or even for an evening outing. As an unscheduled river, families with spin casting gear can promote the love of the outdoors and recreational fishing to their children.”
Collins said the BF&GA were keen to partner with MREAC in the launch into project, but the ASCF support was key to the successes achieved.
“While our groups appreciated the aesthetic and recreational value of the river, prior to this work there was limited knowledge as to the overall status of the Bartibogue and a recognized need to address a few outstanding issues.”
Collins said the overall objective was – and is – river stewardship.
“The BF&GA is in for the long term and highly protective of this waterway. The MREAC was able to bring some additional capacity to the table by securing the funding, undertaking the planning, and engaging other volunteer resources. For both groups, it was a labor of love to actively engage with the Bartibogue as an outstanding waterway – a high-quality jewel with limited recognition.”