Bay of Fundy sees record number of Atlantic salmon for first time in three decades
It’s a wild comeback story that could spawn similar success throughout Fundy National Park.
A hundred endangered wild Atlantic salmon swam upstream in the parks' rivers this year, the most since 1989.
Kurt Samways, the University of New Brunswick Parks Canada research chair, says it's exciting to see all the hard work that's gone into the Fundy Salmon Recovery Project pay off.
"We are seeing record numbers of adults returning to the rivers in Fundy National Park and it's been a long time coming. We've been working on this project now for over five years and really this has been the culmination of a really large collaborative project," said Samways.
"So we're really excited that we're seeing so many positive results."
It targets juvenile wild salmon, known as smolts.
"Our program collects outward migrating smolts in the spring. We raise them to maturity at the world's first marine conservation farm on the island of Grand Manan,” Samways said.
It gives the salmon a head start, but no guarantee of making it home.
John Bagnall of the New Brunswick Salmon Council says there's hope the salmon stocks will continue to rebound and return.
"They survived obviously one or two years in the Bay of Fundy over winter," said Bagnall. "So it's encouraging."
"You can't say much about one year, you've got to have a trend, but it's certainly not negative … maybe we've hit rock bottom and we've started on the way back up," Bagnall said.
Samways says the success was no small feat, it was a collaboration across the province.
"It's only because we are able to work together that we're able to move the mountains that it takes to make such a project successful," Samways said.