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Quantifying Striped Bass and Muskellunge Predation on Atlantic Salmon Smolts at the Base of the Mactaquac Dam, Saint John River, New Brunswick.

Recipient: University of New Brunswick (Linnansaari)
Approved Amount: $14,723
Year Approved: 2016

Striped bass and muskellunge have long been suspected as potential predators of Atlantic salmon smolts, but direct stomach content analyses within the Saint John River (SJR) have never been conducted. The object of this project is to conduct a stomach content analysis of both predators as they become captured in the vicinity of Mactaquac Dam (fish lift or angling) to assess the effect of these species on salmon smolt mortality. Striped bass and muskellunge taken in the fish lift or First Nation angling will be subject to gastric lavage using a bilge pump that will void the contents of the stomach upon capture. Gastric lavage will take place immediately following capture.  Seasonal feeding ecology will be determined for both species focusing on the timing of the smolt migration (determined by a separate ongoing smolt tracking study; funded separately but in part by ASCF) to determine their individual impact on the fragile Atlantic salmon population of the SJR Watershed.  Partnerships will be pursued with Muskies Canada and the Atlantic Salmon Federation to share tagging data.

Contact: Dr. Tommi Linnansaari, 506-458-7569,