Miramichi Summer Salmon fishing... Best in Ages!
August 21st - For approximately a month, from mid-July to mid-August, we enjoyed some of our most consistent summer fishing in a long time, with good conditions and a great number of fish in the system. But, like they say, all good things must come to an end! As another summer heat wave arrived on Saturday, the fishing came to a halt on Monday. This is Canada and we do like having summer weather, but 30C (86F) is too hot for both me and the Salmon but ideal for canoeing, kayaking and swimming. With the warm water temperature, the D.F.O. again closed some of the cold water sections throughout the river system. In July the closures reopened after just two days but we expect a longer period this time as the forecast does not look as favourable as it did in July, so we could be looking at a week or so this time. Keep in mind that with these closures in place, they still only effect approximately 5% of the river system fishing, but with current warm conditions, it is not worth the effort to be fishing as the fish just won't take a fly in these conditions. On the positive side, although it might not be good for the fish, it is amazing to see just how many are holding up in these cold water areas throughout the system. On another positive note, we are reminded that we are in Canada and these hot temperatures won't last long for anyone to be concerned about warm water conditions! For September and October I think it would be a safer bet to bring along your "Long Johns" instead of your "Speedo's"! So, for now, make the best of the warm weather and get ready for some good fall fishing.
With the fish counts up to August the 15th in, this leaves two months of counts yet to come. The numbers so far into the season are very good, especially when compared to last year. We all know the counts last year were not as bad as reported because of the counters being removed more times than in previous years, due to high water rises and during the flood in July. Normally, a good time for returns and the good number of spring fish moving back out to sea would be April and May. This spring also proves that the counts could not possibly have been as low as reported, but no matter how accurate the counts are, this season is looking very good compared to past years - especially the Nor'west, a river of concern over the last few years.
With the A.S.F. comparing the Dungarvon and the Nor'west counting fence barriers in it's latest report, it might be good to compare the numbers from the stretches of the Rivers where the majority of fishing takes place.
Counts as of August 15th at the Nor'west Cassilis trap:
2007-2011 average = 258
2012 = 166
2013 = 155
2014 = 41
2015 = 284
2007-2011 average = 912
2012 = 237
2013 = 364
2014 = 61
2015 = 1,257
The system used each year to determine the actual numbers, is based on approximately 7 to 10% of the actual number going through the trap nets. If this is correct, even at 10%, then the true number of returning fish as of August 15th is approximately 2,840 Salmon and 12,570 Grilse for a total fish count of 15,410.
Counts as of August 15th at the Main Southwest Miramichi Millerton trap
2007-2011 average = 513
2012 = 445
2013 = 298
2014 = 185
2015 = 421
2007-2011 average = 1,396
2012 = 437
2013 = 407
2014 = 283
2015 = 1,139
Again, if the System used is approximately 7 to 10% of the actual numbers going through the trap nets, the estimate at 10% the true number of returning fish as of Aug 15th is approximately 4,210 Salmon and 11,390 Grilse for a for a total fish count of 15,600.
These two counters combined suggest approximately 31,000 of returning Salmon and Grilse to the Miramichi River System as of August 15th!
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