Atlantic Salmon Smolt Movement and Survival

Recipient: Oromocto River Watershed Association
Approved Amount: $15,000

In 2018 a pilot study using hatchery smolts and nine Vemco V7-2x acoustic tags was undertaken in the Oromocto River in order to assess survival, movements, and potential bycatch in the Gaspereau fishery of the lower River. This project found that 66% of Atlantic salmon smolts (2/3) were lost in the immediate area of the Gaspereau fishery. ORWA will focus in this area as well as increasing resolution in the freshwater to tidal transition area where 6 of 9 smolts were lost.  In 2019, ORWA will tag a total of 20 smolts and add additional upstream receivers in order to increase statistical significance and compare release points to smoltification success and survival.  Tag use will be staggered through time (i.e. two releases of 10 tagged smolt each, at least 5 days apart; releases will take place at two locations: Shin Creek slightly upstream of the confluence of the South Oromocto River and South Oromocto River near head of tide).  A portable unit will be used for active tracking at least two days a week.  For increased coverage, it is anticipated that 7 stationary receivers will be used.  Additionally, ORWA will focus on the 5.4 km long river section where the Gaspereau fishery operates in order to infer potential bycatch in this commercial fishery and report our findings to resource managers.

Contact: Robin Hanson, 506-461-6223,