Fisheries and Oceans Canada Must Compensate for Lost Salmon at Rocky River, says ASF

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Watch a video from the site of the Rocky River Fishway project with Don Ivany, ASF's Director of Programs for Newfoundland and Labrador.

A photo taken August 2015 of construction of the new fishway at Rocky River, NFLD. Photo credit: Brian Hendry

If this was a private company that didn’t have solid plans in place to move these fish, then, under the Fisheries Act, it would be guilty of impeding the movement of the salmon.

The Atlantic Salmon Federation (ASF) is calling on the Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) to make up for lost wild Atlantic salmon during construction of a new fishway at Rocky River in southern Newfoundland and Labrador. In August, ASF called on DFO to take action to assist approximately 450 trapped salmon near Colinet. The salmon were unable to move upriver during construction, leaving hundreds unable to spawn in Rocky River this season.

“There are obviously flaws in the approval process when projects like this are being assessed by DFO,” says Don Ivany, ASF’s Director of Programs for Newfoundland and Labrador. “While we commend the efforts to try and capture these stranded fish after the fact, approximately 75 percent of them will not be spawning in the river this year."

Ivany says the situation is a shame given volunteers were responsible for stocking Rocky River and establishing the run of fish in the first place.

“If this was a private company that didn’t have solid plans in place to move these fish, then, under the Fisheries Act, it would be guilty of impeding the movement of the salmon,” says Ivany. “It would be held accountable and made to compensate for the loss. DFO should be no different. DFO needs to put additional resources in place to make up for this year’s loss of wild Atlantic salmon in Rocky River.”

Ivany says ASF and groups like the Salmonid Association of Eastern Newfoundland (SAEN) are willing to partner with DFO to help with re-stocking of juvenile fish and river enhancement.

Mr. Ivany concluded, “There will be both short and long-term impacts on this river’s salmon run. We believe that DFO, like any private company, should be required to compensate for this loss.”

Click here to watch a brief video by Don Ivany, ASF Director of Newfoundland and Labrador Programs, at the construction site of the new Rocky River Fishway: http://asf.ca/news-from-the-regions.html

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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: Holly Johnson, Manager of Public Information: (506)529-1033(o)
(506)469-1033(c), HJohnson(at)asf.ca
To view this story online visit: http://asf.ca/dfo-must-compensate-for-lost-nl-salmon-at-rocky-river.html

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For high-resolution photography please visit: the ASF Image Gallery: http://www.asf.ca/images.html

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Holly Johnson
Atlantic Salmon Federation
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