A pair of porpoises has been spotted swimming in Moncton’s Petitcodiac River in the past few days.

The Petitcodiac riverkeeper says their presence points to the river’s recovery.

“We had a list of many fish species that were supposed to come back and now we see that a very special species that was not on the list is here,” says Mario Cyr of the Petitcodiac Riverkeepers Association.

He says the porpoises are likely chasing food up the river, which is possible because of the opening of the causeway gates.

Area resident Jeanine Arsenault says she has seen a big change in the river since the causeway gates opened for good about three years ago.

“More fish, more birds, it’s just amazing,” she says.

Melanie LeBlanc of the Petitcodiac Riverkeepers Association says the porpoises are likely following a food source up the river and will stick around as long as that source is abundant.

“From the research that we’ve done, they would follow the fish population so it would be a sign the fish are moving up the river.”

With files from CTV Atlantic's Jonathan MacInnis