Wild return caught in Fish Net Trap at head-of-tide on the Petitcodiac- October 4th, 2021
Caudal fin
Dorsal fin
Pectoral fins

Stable Isotope Analysis carried out on the scale sample by Stable Isotopes in Nature Laboratory (SINLAB) at the University of New Brunswick confirmed that she (the Unknown) was a returning wild iBoF Atlantic salmon- not from the Fundy Salmon Recovery (Conservation, Dark Harbor), or DFO’s Live gene Bank (Mactaquac Biodiversity), or an aquaculture escapee (Commercial Aquaculture).

Examination of the scale sample indicated that she was a 2-sea-winter (2SW) fish, who had smoltified and gone to sea in 2019 as a two-year old smolt. As such, she would have been at sea in both December 2020 and December 2019. Having been captured on the main stem of the Petitcodiac beyond the mouth of the Little River, it seems reasonable to speculate that she was on her way upstream back to the Pollett River. If so, it is likely that she exited the Pollett as part of the spring 2019 smolt run. FFHR’s 2019 data indicates a Bayesian Pollett smolt run size estimate of approximately 5,465 smolt.

Scale sample

Genetic analysis may shed light on what part of the recovery program she resulted from. One way or another, most smolt coming off the Pollett are present due to FFHR’s stocking efforts. Being a two-year old smolt in 2019, she was probably either the offspring of the 126 Fundy Salmon Recovery adults released in October 2016 or one of 47,000 fry (directly from the DFO Live Gene Bank at Mactaquac) released in May of 2017. The adults in 2016 were split evenly by gender: 63 males and 63 females. In the upper Pollett 64 were released (35 male 29 female) and 62 were released in the lower Pollett (28 male and 34 female). All the redds found in 2016 were in the lower half of the Pollett. The fry in 2017 were all released in Webster Brook, in the upper Pollett near Elgin. Having come directly from Mactaquac there ought to be good records of the ancestry of the fry. If she wasn’t released as a fry in the spring of 2017 then one if not both of her parents were probably among the adults released in the fall of 2016.