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Science Response 2017/036

2017 Atlantic Salmon Mid-Season Review for the Newfoundland and Labrador Region


Declines in total returns (>30%) of Atlantic Salmon on more than half of monitored rivers in 2016 warranted conducting a full stock assessment for Atlantic Salmon in the Newfoundland and Labrador (NL) Region in February 2017 (Fisheries and Oceans Canada [DFO] 2017). In March 2017, the Salmonid Advisory Committee (SAC) recommended that DFO Science conduct a mid-season review of the status of Atlantic Salmon in the NL Region to determine whether the 2016 declines were an outlier in the observed annual variability of salmon returns, or the result of a declining trend in the abundance of salmon stocks.

Based on this recommendation from SAC, DFO Resource Management requested DFO Science to provide advice on the following questions:

  1. Are the 2017 environmental conditions having an effect on Atlantic Salmon returns?
  2. If there are environmental conditions influencing returns, can we anticipate an increase in Atlantic Salmon returns before mid-August?
  3. When could it be reasonably certain that marine survival is much lower and returns will be significantly lower than previous generation returns?
  4. What would be the impact of reducing catch and reducing effort?
  5. Given it is a late year for returns, would it be reasonable to keep counting fences in place for an extended period?

This Science Response Report results from the Science Response Process of July 19, 2017 on the 2017 Atlantic Salmon mid-season review for the Newfoundland and Labrador Region.

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