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River/ Stream Quality Decline


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#1 Salmotrutta1989

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Posted 16 March 2014 - 07:52 PM

Hi everyone I just wanted to share my observations of a local small river/ stream I grew up near and also hear other people's. This river is a tributary of east not one of the main two trunks but what I'd call a secondary tributary. The species I have personally seen or caught in it are, speckled trout, brown trout, salmon, white sucker, eel, gaspereaux, smelt. I only saw the gasperaux once but it was literally full of them, I also only saw the salmon pooled up there once and it was quite a site one pool with about 50- 60 very large salmon in it. Some of them were massive looking like 4 feet long roughly, this year while salmon fishing one salmon I estimated around 25 pounds but nothing close to the size of the big ones I seen there. So I kept an eye on this pool this year but didnt see any there. I did see one about 10 km farther up brook so it obviously went through the pool at some point, do you they usually frequent same pools every year? There's only three or four bigger pools on this brook and it was the biggest one I seen them in so I figure they would be back. Do salmon abandon a waterway if it doesn't need needs anymore or will they just breed less successfully and slowly die out in that system. The brook overall seems less productive I use to always find freshwater mussels there and now I haven't seen any in years, and I also haven't seen as many eels. It also use to have a population of river otters. I'm sure the reason they're no longer in there is because of decline of fish and the mussels. In the last 20 years I seen one river otter but it was during searun and he wasn't very far up I think he was just there temporarily. I asked my great uncle about the salmon there because he is a fly fisherman/ salmon fishermen. He said people use to go there to specifically fish salmon and he himself caught some there. He said they came up there a bit later than main rivers and were generally bigger he called it the something run but I can't remember what he said now black run maybe.Thankfully I never see anyone fishing it
now so I'm Hoping they might be doing okay there, relatively speaking of course. As much as id like to get one out of my local hole, I think I'll just continue to observe them and hopefully see some decent numbers there. One other concerning thing I've seen is there is a govt public works building at top of bank of brook
And they've been dumping things over bank, pushing fill over it for years. Last year walking down by this spot there was a Brick chimney section about 4x4x4' square right in middle of brook which mind you can only be 5-10 feet wide in low water conditions, also not uncommon to see peice of old steel drain pipe or barrel or something dumped over there. It's not like its poisinous waste but I don't think they should be disturbing the brook in anyway.
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#2 Salmotrutta1989

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Posted 16 March 2014 - 07:59 PM

So just to summarize my main questions/concerns are

-do salmon up and leave a system or slowly die off in that system

- what species have you noticed in decline in your local waterways

-what factors do they think are the biggest affecting said species, for my local brook low water and warm temps seem to be having effect

-what is the legality of dumping things even like brick into waterways I'm
Sure it's illegal
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#3 Stradicman

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Posted 17 March 2014 - 12:53 AM

I see a big decline in everything but brown trout.salmon ,eel's,smelt and gaspereux numbers are getting lower every year.Water is warmer and lower now to but that's what happen's when area's get clear cut.


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#4 SalmoSolar

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Posted 17 March 2014 - 05:55 AM

I see a big decline in everything but brown trout.salmon ,eel's,smelt and gaspereux numbers are getting lower every year.Water is warmer and lower now to but that's what happen's when area's get clear cut.


clear cutting is the single largest issue in the province in my opinion. Add the "bio mass" bs to it. I bought 100 acres in the highlands last may.im almost to jim cambells barren. The amount of clear cutting going on is insane. Zero guidelines being followed. This is happening on a major margaree tributary. I have spent the entire winter trying to even FIND someone with any power of enforcement. Hell I even got a shrug and a " ya it happens all the time" from the ecology action center.nobody enforces the laws apparently.from what I can tell.
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#5 -----

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Posted 17 March 2014 - 06:50 AM

SS, you are one of the first guys that I have seen, other then me, post your concerns over Clear Cutting. One thing you and I can forever agree on is this issue. It is the single most important factor effecting every thing within Nature. Whether it is the temperature of a Feeder Brook that Trout or Salmon spawn in or Deer Winter Yards or some of the older hollow Bigwoods that Cavity nesters depend on... the list is absolutely endless. Then add forestry practices in spring and early summer when most of nature is using these same forests to breed and reproduce or when fish young are emerging from their infancy stages. Critical time of year. However it receives the absolute least attention when we speak about conservation.
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#6 Lguthro

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Posted 17 March 2014 - 07:01 AM

Guest and SS, clear cutting is a huge issue affecting our waterways and natural mammal habitats another huge concern not so much locally but CCS or Carbon Capture and storage, sure it sounds like great idea we will capture the CO2 being released in the atmosphere and bury it in geological formations.. Well scientist are now finding out this CO2 is leaking into water ways creating extremely de-oxygenated water... AKA no life 


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#7 -----

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Posted 17 March 2014 - 07:11 AM

Luke, Forestry is one issue within NS that we have the means to control, perhaps not the Political Desire to control, however it is within out own means to control. The air you and I breath is a direct reflection on Plant life. Regardless, many other factors come into play, whether it is the Agriculture industry with it pollution, Development, Corporate Pollution, Clearly I am not narrowing my view only on Fish, it is about everything that lives and breaths. Have you ever stopped to think about how much Mortality is a direct result of just one Clear Cutting Operation, 100 acres lets say, in the month of May/June. It might floor you to know.
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#8 LSF

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Posted 17 March 2014 - 08:02 AM

Great topic and you guys have hit the nail on the head with the forestry industry!!


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#9 SalmoSolar

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Posted 17 March 2014 - 08:36 AM

I just watched 128 acres get clear cut on forest glen brook. The amount of clear cutting still being done in the highlands in general is mind blowing. Especially when there are much better options both enviromental and commercial available. Im the only land owner who also owns the road through my property. If I had the money id put up mersey style gates on both property lines. There is a trail that could be used by snowmobiles and atvs but no way for machinery to get past me. Therefore no more clear cutting past me.
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Posted 17 March 2014 - 08:53 AM

SS, I own a 60 acre lot that has not seen a harvester. I do use a Chain Saw in it , cutting selective trees. The owner I bought it from did similar cutting as well. However three years ago a company from the Truro area bought the adjoining land, 275 acres. They levelled it. Got to tell you the effect on my land were immediate. One of the few remaining deer yards in the area is on my land. Noticeable decline very first year. Bear were common in the fall at the wild apple trees. Bears now are a rarity. Rabbits the same effect. There is a small Brook between me and the other land owner on the other side. Has a good Population of small Trout. That brook now goes almost dry in the summer, floods in the fall. This all occurred the very next year after the cutting occurred. Forests have a massive influence on what lives and what dies.
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I keep my head held high and smile, because there are people who will kill to see me fall.

#11 Lguthro

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Posted 17 March 2014 - 10:43 AM

Interesting that clear cutting would effect the water levels in the brook but assuming in fall theres no leaves  in the tree trees to absorb the water  


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#12 mushamush

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Posted 17 March 2014 - 11:34 AM

Hi All
One of the most important things we can do
for future generations is to establish bench marks
of water quality on the various waters in the province.
It is impossible to prove anything without facts.
I remember an effort to prove gaspereaux used to
be in Keji before the Mersey river dams. Couldn't
do it - no record.
BACF done a project on the Lahave a few years ago.
Sampled in 12 - 14 spots every 2 weeks and had the
samples analazed. Could be very useful in the future
and it should be a model for more rivers.
Enjoy the last days of winter
Paul
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#13 Perry

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Posted 17 March 2014 - 12:02 PM

I agree Paul 100%! I also believe that if you are on a well you should get it tested if you see or anticipate activity on the land near the well. As Paul said without proof of potable water before activity you cannot prove that water has been affected by fracking as an example. 


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#14 Salmotrutta1989

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Posted 18 March 2014 - 07:07 PM

Yes unfortunately there has a been a lot of cutting farther up the system it drains from brookville maclennans mountian area which I'm sure anyone in pictou county is aware of how much cutting is happening up there. I geuss there ain't much you can do it all comes down to mighty dollar, just sad to see a brook or river you love and have lots of good memories on degrade.the water flow is definitely down in summer compared to 20 years agos the pool use to be about 9-10 feet deep now it's around 6.5-7 feet, and in dead of summer is down to barely a trickle and is very warm. When the water gets too warm do they normally head upstream to cooler waters or out of the river altogether? I was down last year and couldn't find a brookie in normal spots where the smaller ones hang out I suspect water was too warm
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#15 Bass_Slayer

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Posted 19 March 2014 - 09:27 AM

Although the salmon and gaspy populations seem to be declining. I would be lying if i said the trout were too. In my area there are so many speckleds you coould easily catch and release 200-400 in a day. Last year also had no problem catching anywheres from 1 -12 browns in a day. The 5 fish limit needs to be reduced in most areas and the 13.8 retention size needs to be implemented province wide. These are easy, resonable answers to declining trout populations in your area, and as a bonus would help support a bigger size avg. I do beleive the salmon are done for but i glimer of hope came in the form of some salmon smolt in a brook near my house... No big deal you say, it would'nt be except I live in the inner BOF. There have been salmon spotted in my area the last few years but nothing close to sustanable.Overall from what I see bushwackin into the thick **** no one wants to go into is that the trout are still plentiful where there not being fished, This tells me the problem (for trout at least) isnt the water temperature, disease, or parasites. You know what it is. Its just to much pressure on fish and limit is simply too high.Its too bad really, ill be too old to bushwack in 10 years lol


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#16 Salmotrutta1989

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Posted 19 March 2014 - 08:52 PM

There is still some trout around but in the rivers last year I caught over 95% brown trout. I only got one or two speckled but I did miss searun at first of year and also don't target the small brookies much but do see them around a lot. Not as much in the brook I mentioned as years previous, though which Is related to reduced flow rates and high summer water temps I'm sure. There is a couple big fish around at first of year but they don't seem to be too far up usually. I have heard of a couple around 4-6 pound and the biggest brown I ever seen personally 28-29" and 9-10 pounds. I agree with the reduced bag limit and minimum size restriction for basically most species . I practice catch and release almost all the time I might take 2 sea trout or sea run brown for my grandmother in the spring because she likes trout. But after releasing some decent size ones it's more satisfying to watch them swim away.
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#17 Bass_Slayer

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Posted 23 March 2014 - 09:21 AM

Nice! This year should be decent for most fish if the rain flys as much this summer as the snow did this winter :) There was good water last fall too, so thats usually a good sign. 


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