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Information Summary for the Consultation on Adding Five Atlantic Salmon Populations to the List of Wildlife Species at Risk under the Species at Risk Act
Atlantic Salmon: A Species at Risk

School of Atlantic Salmon
D. Danvoye

school of Atlantic Salmon in a river

Information Summary for the Consultation on Adding
Five Atlantic Salmon Populations
to the List of Wildlife Species at Risk under the Species at Risk Act

November 26, 2012, to March 1, 2013

For populations of:

  • Anticosti Island
  • Quebec Eastern North Shore
  • Quebec Western North Shore
  • Inner St. Lawrence
  • Gaspé-Southern Gulf of St. Lawrence

Today, hundreds of wildlife species face the risk of extinction in Canada.
 Some are symbols in our diverse cultures and heritage; some are the last of their kind in the world – and all of them have an essential role to play in the environments where they live.

Questionnaire 1 – "Special Concern" Populations or PDF (43,6 KB)

Questionnaire 2 – Endangered Anticosti Island Population or PDF (35,8 KB)

Consultation on five Atlantic Salmon populations

Because Atlantic Salmon have a high degree of fidelity to their natal rivers and given their adaptation to the stream they frequent (e.g. difference in morphology, life cycle and behaviour), the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) has identified 16 populations of Atlantic Salmon. This consultation focuses on five of these populations in Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island. Consultations for the other populations assessed as at risk by COSEWIC will be carried out at a later date.

We would like to receive your comments on the potential benefits or impacts of adding these five Atlantic Salmon populations to the List of Wildlife Species at Risk under the Species at Risk Act. The purposes of this Act are to prevent wildlife species from becoming extinct, to provide for their recovery and to conserve biological diversity.

This summary includes information on Atlantic Salmon and on the Species at Risk Act. You will also find a detachable questionnaire that you can complete to provide us your comments.

Atlantic Salmon populations
PopulationStatusEstimated adult abundanceDecline in adult abundanceProvincesNumber of rivers
Quebec Eastern North ShoreSpecial concern
At risk of becoming threatened or endangered because of a combination of biological characteristics and identified threats
4 949 salmon
14%Quebec20, between the Checatica and Kegaska rivers
Quebec Western North ShoreSpecial concern
At risk of becoming threatened or endangered because of a combination of biological characteristics and identified threats
14 821 salmon
24%Quebec25, between the Natashquan and Escoumins rivers
Inner St. LawrenceSpecial concern
At risk of becoming threatened or endangered because of a combination of biological characteristics and identified threats
5 020 salmon
5%Quebec9, between the Bras des Murailles and Jacques-Cartier rivers (north shore), and in the Ouelle River (south shore)
Gaspé-SouthernGulfof St. LawrenceSpecial concern
At risk of becoming threatened or endangered because of a combination of biological characteristics and identified threats
102 263 salmon
28%Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island78, from the Sud-Ouest River in Quebec to the northern tip of Cape Breton in Nova Scotia
Anticosti IslandEndangered
Facing imminent extirpation or extinction
2 414 salmon
40%Quebec25, on Anticosti Island

Range of the five Atlantic Salmon populations targeted for this consultation

Figure 1. Map of the St. Lawrence Estuary and the Maritimes, where the five Atlantic Salmon population sare located. (See long description below)
Description of Figure 1

Figure 1. Map of the St. Lawrence Estuary and the Maritimes, where the five Atlantic Salmon populations targeted by this consultation are located:

  • in the east between the Checatica and Kegaska rivers, designatable unit 7 – "Quebec Eastern North Shore";
  • between the Natashquan and Escoumins rivers, designatable unit 8 – "Quebec Western North Shore";
  • rivers on Anticosti Island, unit 9 – "Anticosti Island";
  • between the Bras-des-Murailles and Jacques-Cartier rivers, unit 10 – "Inner St. Lawrence";
  • from the Sud-Ouest River in Quebec to the northern tip of Cape Breton in Nova Scotia, unit 12 – "Gaspé–Southern Gulf of St. Lawrence."

Why are these five Atlantic Salmon populations at risk?

These five Atlantic Salmon populations spawn in over a hundred rivers in Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island. They are threatened by climatic changes, environmental changes in the oceans, fishing, obstructions in fresh water (e.g. dams), agriculture, urbanization, aquaculture and invasive species. In some cases, the freshwater habitat required for spawning is degraded. For all these populations, significant downward trends in the number of small or large salmon are observed.  

Facts on Atlantic Salmon

Atlantic Salmon spawn in fresh water, generally in their native river. Juveniles spend one to eight years in fresh water before migrating to salt water in the North Atlantic. After staying at sea for one to four years, adults return to fresh water to spawn. Salmon rivers or streams are generally clear, cool and well oxygenated, with gravel, cobble and boulder substrates.

Adding a population to the List of Wildlife Species at Risk

The process of listing a species under the Species at Risk Act consists of several steps. It starts with a status assessment by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) and ends with a government decision whether or not to add the population to the List of Wildlife Species at Risk.

Status assessment

COSEWIC is a committee of experts that assesses and designates which wildlife species are in some danger of disappearing from Canada. The status of various Atlantic Salmon populations in Canada was assessed in 2010. This assessment was based on the best available information, which includes scientific data, community knowledge and Aboriginal traditional knowledge.

Consultation: Let your opinion be heard

The Species at Risk Act acknowledges that Aboriginal peoples, interested groups and all Canadians have a role to play in preventing the disappearance of wildlife species. Before deciding whether these Atlantic Salmon populations will be added to the List of Wildlife Species at Risk, we would like to hear your opinion, comments and suggestions regarding the possible ecological, cultural and economic impacts of listing or not listing this species under the Species at Risk Act.

If the populations are listed...

For the endangered Anticosti Island population, a recovery strategy would be developed to identify threats and measures to be implemented. Automatic prohibitions would also apply. It would be illegal to kill, harm, take, possess, capture or trade Atlantic Salmon from this population. The critical habitat,  the habitat necessary for the survival and recovery of the Anticosti Island population of Atlantic Salmon, would be protected.

Listing populations as special concern would lead to the development of a management plan under the Species at Risk Act in order to reduce threats resulting from human activity. Automatic prohibitions would not apply to these populations.

Current situation

The Atlantic Salmon commercial fishery was closed progressively in Canadian waters from the mid-1980s until 2000, when it was closed completely. Aboriginal peoples continue to fish in several salmon rivers for food, social and ceremonial purposes. Salmon represents an important cultural tradition to which they attach great value. Lastly, recreational fishing is still authorized. Restrictive management measures are imposed for each river based on abundance estimates. These measures include catch limits, mandatory release of large salmon to the water, and closures of certain watercourses. Salmon habitat is protected under the fish habitat protection provisions of the Fisheries Act.


You can make a difference: Your comments are important!

Questionnaire 1 – "Special Concern" Populations

Identify the population(s) for which you have comments.

  • ◻ Quebec Eastern North Shore
  • ◻ Quebec Western North Shore
  • ◻ Inner St. Lawrence
  • ◻ Gaspé-Southern Gulf of St. Lawrence

The purpose of this questionnaire is to obtain your comments on adding Atlantic Salmon populations as special concern to the List of Wildlife Species at Risk under the Species at Risk Act. For the endangered Anticosti Island population, use Questionnaire 2 on the other side. If necessary, you may add extra pages, photocopy the questionnaire or contact us to obtain additional copies.

1. Do you support listing one or several Atlantic Salmon populations as special concern on the List of Wildlife Species at Risk? Why?




2. What would be the potential environmental, social, cultural, and economic impacts, positives or negatives, of listing one or several Atlantic Salmon populations as special concern on the List of Wildlife Species at Risk?




3. What could be the potential positive and negative impacts on your activities if one or several Atlantic Salmon populations were listed as special concern on the List of Wildlife Species at Risk? If you represent a business, do you anticipate any potential administrative or compliance costs to your business (e.g., If permits were issued for the species or log books were required, would your business incur any costs associated)?




4. Indicate your sector of activities (e.g., fisheries, environment, or other). If you represent an industry, a small businessFootnote 1, a community, an Aboriginal community or organization, are you presenting your comments on their behalf or as an individual?




5. In which province do you reside?


6. Do you have any other comments on listing Atlantic Salmon populations as special concern on the List of Wildlife Species at Risk?




Your name (optional):


Name of organization/municipality/Aboriginal community (optional):


 

To submit your answers or receive more information, please contact:

Quebec
Species at Risk Management Division
Fisheries and Oceans Canada – Quebec Region
P.O. Box 1000, Mont-Joli QC  G5H 3Z4
Email: lep-sara-qc@dfo-mpo.gc.ca
1-877-775-0848

New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island
Species at Risk Management Division
Fisheries and Oceans Canada – Gulf Region
P.O. Box 5030, Moncton NB  E1C 9B6
Email: glf-sara-lep@dfo-mpo.gc.ca
1-506-851-6253

Thank you for completing this questionnaire.


You can make a difference: Your comments are important!

Questionnaire 2 – Endangered Anticosti Island Population

The purpose of this questionnaire is to obtain your comments on adding the endangered Anticosti Island population of Atlantic Salmon to the List of Wildlife Species at Risk under theSpecies at Risk Act . For populations with special concern status, use Questionnaire 1 on the other side.

If the Anticosti Island population was to be listed as endangered, automatic prohibitions would also apply. It would be illegal to kill, harm, take, possess, capture or trade individuals of this Atlantic Salmon population. The critical habitat, the habitat necessary for the survival and recovery of the Anticosti Island population of Atlantic Salmon, would be protected.

You may use extra pages for your comments.

1. Do you support listing the Anticosti Atlantic Salmon population as “endangered” on the List of Wildlife Species at Risk? Why?




2. What would be the potential environmental, social, cultural, and economic impacts, positives or negatives, of listing the Anticosti Atlantic Salmon population as “endangered” on the List of Wildlife Species at Risk?




3. What could be the potential positive and negative impacts on your activities if Anticosti Atlantic Salmon population was listed as “endangered” on the List of Wildlife Species at Risk? If you represent a business, do you anticipate any potential administrative or compliance costs to your business (e.g., If permits were issued for the species or log books were required, would your business incur any costs associated)?




4. Indicate your sector of activities (e.g., fisheries, environment, or other). If you represent an industry, a small businessFootnote 1, a community, an Aboriginal community or organization, are you presenting your comments on their behalf or as an individual?




5. In which province do you reside?


6. Do you have any other comments on the listing of the Anticosti Atlantic Salmon population as “endangered” on the List of Wildlife Species at Risk?




Your name (optional):


Name of organization/municipality/Aboriginal community (optional):


 

To submit your answers or receive more information, please contact:

Species at Risk Management Division
Fisheries and Oceans Canada – Quebec Region
P.O. Box 1000, Mont-Joli QC  G5H 3Z4
Email: lep-sara-qc@dfo-mpo.gc.ca
1-877-775-0848

Footnotes

Footnote 1

Defined as any business, including its affiliates, that has fewer than 100 employees or between $30,000 and $5 million in annual gross revenues

Return to firstfootnote 1 referrer

Thank you for completing this questionnaire.


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