Gaspé Salmon Data Confirm Improved Runs and Economic Activity in 2011

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The Atlantic Salmon Federation is pleased with increases in returns of wild Atlantic salmon to the Gaspe rivers of Quebec.

This encouraging news confirms the anecdotal reports from anglers that resounded throughout the season last year.

A report issued by the Quebec Government indicates that an estimated 17,705 salmon returned to the rivers of Quebec’s Gaspé region in 2011; 21% more than 2010 and 49% more than the average number from 2006 to 2010. “This is encouraging news,” said Bill Taylor, President of the Atlantic Salmon Federation (ASF) “and confirms the anecdotal reports from anglers that resounded throughout the season last year. Quebec is the first province to report, and we expect similar information from regions throughout eastern Canada.”

The good runs combined with excellent fishing conditions drew anglers to such rivers as the Grande Cascapedia, Bonaventure, Matapedia, Kedgwick, Matane, Madeleine, Saint-Jean, York and Dartmouth. This resulted in a record 26,201 rod days last season for the Gaspé Peninsula, an increase over the previous five-year average of 27% for the Gaspé North Shore, 24% for the eastern sector, and 9% for the Chaleur Bay sector.

“Gardner Pinfold Consulting Economists Ltd. in its economic evaluation indicates that spending activities related to wild Atlantic salmon contributed to a gross domestic product (GDP) of $150 million and supported 3,900 full time equivalent jobs in 2010 throughout eastern Canada. The recreational salmon fishery accounted for $115 million in GDP, and 3,300 jobs.

For Quebec’s angling industry in particular, the GDP value of wild Atlantic salmon was nearly $47 million in 2010. Taking the Grande Cascapedia River as an example, salmon angling on this one river contributes $7.2 million to Quebec’s GDP, and locally provides 172 full time equivalent jobs. Not surprisingly, Gardner Pinfold reported that the river has a strong restoration and management program that helps to increase the value of the salmon that spawn in it. Quebec scientists determined that, in 2011, the Grande Cascapedia River exceeded by almost 5 times its minimum conservation limit.

One of the conclusions of the Gardner Pinfold report is that spending more on restoration will result in more salmon in our rivers. Healthier salmon runs will attract more anglers, who will contribute to more spending and more jobs in rural economies that are very much in need of such a boost. The egg deposition associated with the estimated number of salmon on the spawning grounds of the Gaspé rivers was exceptional, and actually exceeded the minimum conservation levels determined for all salmon rivers on the Gaspé Peninsula. “This offers hope for future improved runs and economic spin-off from salmon fishing on the Gaspé Peninsula,” continued Mr. Taylor.

“We look forward to the reports from Fisheries and Oceans Canada on Atlantic Canada’s salmon runs and from Quebec on how the rest of the province’s salmon runs fared, which should be available in the next couple of months,” concluded Mr. Taylor.

The Atlantic Salmon Federation is dedicated to the conservation, protection and restoration of wild Atlantic salmon and the ecosystems on which their well being and survival depend.
ASF has a network of seven regional councils (New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador, Prince Edward Island, Quebec, Maine and Western New England). The regional councils cover the freshwater range of the Atlantic salmon in Canada and the United States.

ASF Contact: Muriel Ferguson, Communications 506 529-1033 or 506 529-4581

For more on the Gapse returns, go to


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Muriel Ferguson
Atlantic Salmon Federation
506 529-1033
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