Atlantic salmon have been extirpated from several St. John’s river systems due to pollution, human disruption of the river’s natural flow, and a growing population of brown trout (a predator of Atlantic salmon).
For the last three summers, a Green Team composed of partnership between the Conservation Corps NL and SAEN (the Salmonid Association of Eastern Newfoundland), has been working on the “City Rivers Atlantic Salmon Reintroduction project.”
According to the President of SAEN, Scott Nightengale, the work involves “several phases of activity, including stream mapping, installing incubation boxes [for eggs], instream pool creation, and deposition of fertilized eggs.”
The Green Team is currently busy building a natural spawning ground for the salmon in the Yellow Marsh stream, directly behind the Dollarama next to the Avalon Mall.
Compared to its original state, this river is nearly unrecognizable. The project has involved the installation of seven low head dams, covering the riverbed in spawning gravel, and creating green space over the previously rock solid river banks, in order to supplement a root system and protect the rivers edge from erosion.
The Green team reports that its progress has been “phenomenal.”