In order to better understand the needs of the salmon at any given time, we need to be very familiar with their habitat throughout the years. The health and abundance of a salmon run can be effected by many factors, a few of which we can monitor and even adjust if necessary. Some of the more easily observed and basic aspects fundamental to salmon survival include the presence or absence of gravel in which to spawn, the amount of shade and stabilization from trees on the river bank, suitable cover in the creek (often a fallen tree is just what they need) and good water flow to ensure a cool, clean creek bed. With these aspects taken care of, the salmon stand a much better chance of maintaining their numbers. Beneficial insect and invertebrate life will also flourish, further benefiting the system.
In late spring of 2015, Echo Bay resident biologist Marie Josee Gagnon, surveyed Maple Cove Creek and Shoal Harbour Creek for MESSS in preparation for some conservation efforts set to take place in 2016 and 2017. To view the full survey report click on the following link: https://www.dropbox.com/s/xp6eveh1jjnqkld/MESSS%202015%20MC_SH%20Final%20Report.pdf?dl=0
Each fall, M.E.S.S.S workers and volunteers walk a handful of local creeks in order to count the number of returning salmon. Each creek is enumerated about 8 times over the course of three months. All data is reported to DFO and available for the public to view. The enumeration helps us to monitor the health and abundance of local salmon runs. See ‘Assessment Reports’ if you’re interested in viewing this data in detail.