Response Statements

Response Statement - Atlantic Salmon, Nova Scotia Southern Upland 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 northeastern mainland Nova Scotia, along the Atlantic coast and into the Bay of Fundy as far as Cape Split. Small (one-sea-winter) and large (multi-sea-winter) fish have both declined over the last 3 generations by approximately 59% and 74%, respectively, for a net decline of all mature individuals of about 61%. Moreover, these declines represent continuations of greater declines extending far into the past. During the past century, spawning occurred in 63 rivers, but a recent (2008) survey detected juveniles in only 20 of 51 rivers examined. There is no likelihood of rescue, as neighbouring regions harbour severely depleted, genetically dissimilar populations.The population has historically suffered from dams that have impeded spawning migrations and flooded spawning and rearing habitats, and other human influences, such as pollution and logging, that have reduced or degraded freshwater habitats. Acidification of freshwater habitats brought about by acidic precipitation is a major, ongoing threat, as is poor marine survival related to substantial but incompletely understood changes in marine ecosystems. There are a few salmon farms in this area that could lead to negative effects of interbreeding or ecological interactions with escaped domestic salmon.

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