Response Statements

Response Statement - Atlantic Salmon, South Newfoundland population

This species requires rivers or streams that are generally clear, cool and well-oxygenated for reproduction and the first few years of rearing, but undertakes lengthy feeding migrations in the North Atlantic Ocean as older juveniles and adults. This population breeds in rivers from the southeast tip of the Avalon Peninsula, Mistaken Point, westward along the south coast of Newfoundland to Cape Ray. The numbers of small (one-sea-winter) and large (multi-sea-winter) salmon have both declined over the last 3 generations, about 37% and 26%, respectively, for a net decline of all mature individuals of about 36%. This decline has occurred despite the fact that mortality from commercial fisheries in coastal areas has greatly declined since 1992; this may be due to poor marine survival related to substantial but incompletely understood changes in marine ecosystems. Illegal fishing is a threat in some rivers. The presence of salmon aquaculture in a small section of this area brings some risk of negative effects from interbreeding or adverse ecological interactions with escaped domestic salmon. Genetic heterogeneity among the many small rivers in this area is unusually pronounced, suggesting that rescue among river breeding populations may be somewhat less likely than in other areas.

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