Miawpukek Genetic Diversity (MGD) Study

Recipient: Miawpukek First Nation
Approved Amount: $40,000

Miawpukek First Nation (MFN) is very concerned about the dramatic decline (>70%) in the number of Salmon returning to Conne River over the last few decades. In an effort to lessen and reverse this decline, MFN is planning to undertake an extensive salmon enhancement program on the Conne River.

The Conne River watershed is made up of three major tributaries (Twillick, Bernards, and Conne Pond). Genetic analysis conducted in the 1990’s revealed weak genetic differences among these tributaries. Elder Indigenous knowledge indicates that there were/are three distinctive runs of Atlantic salmon on Conne River (early, mid, and late). It is unknown if the slight genetic difference coincides with each of these tributaries and what elders have known for generations. MFN is planning to enhance the Conne River salmon population but do not want to alter the genetic integrity of each tributary or the entire watershed. Before this plan can be put in motion, a clear understanding of the genetic composition of Conne River Atlantic salmon is required. If there are genetic differences between the tributaries, MFN will concentrate its enhancement efforts on the largest tributary (Twillick). Broodstock will be take from Twillick, incubated and the resulting fry returned to ideal rearing habitat of Twillick. The system will be monitored to determine the success of this fry stocking program. The other two tributaries can be stocked at a later date.

Contact: Ross Hinks, 709-882-3001,