The year 2010 marks the 19th year of the commercial Atlantic salmon fishery moratorium in insular Newfoundland and the 13th year for the Labrador portion of the region. Returns of small salmon in 2010 increased relative to 2009 in 88 % of assessed rivers (14 of 16) and decreased in Campbellton River (SFA 4) and Conne River (SFA 11). Large salmon returns also increased in 2010 in 75 % of assessed rivers (12 of 16). Overall abundance of small salmon in insular Newfoundland (SFA 3-14A) reached record low levels in 2001 and 2007 and very low levels in Labrador in 2009 and 2010. Peaks in small salmon abundance, approaching pre-moratorium levels, occurred in 2004 and 2008 and 2010 in insular Newfoundland 2005-08 in Labrador. In insular Newfoundland these large variations in small salmon abundance have resulted in a long term moratorium mean (1997-2009) that is similar to the initial five year moratorium mean (1992-96) and below pre-moratorium levels (1984-91). In insular Newfoundland as was expected, overall abundance of large salmon returns increased steadily following the commercial moratorium from 1992 to 1998. However, as with small salmon, returns of large salmon experienced low levels in 2001 and 2007 but increased little in 2008. Large salmon returns increased in 2010. Within the Labrador portion of the region large salmon stock abundance has trended downwards since the late 1980’s and the 2010 abundance is the lowest observed. Marine survival of smolts continues to vary widely from 11.2 % to 2.5 % in recent years. During the 2010 angling season there were no closures of the recreational fishery for environmental reasons.View complete PDF document
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