The shore along the coast of Nova Scotia is dotted with picturesque little inlets and harbours. This last week, being home for a bit, we did a bit of local touring and one such pretty scene is just a couple of clicks up the road from us – Salmon River. The tiny village that sits there now was once a much more active little port.
Salmon River used to be home to 2 hotels, and the logging industry brought some income to many. The forestry was done far inland, and importantly upstream. The logs were then floated down the river and loaded onto ships here at the mouth of the Salmon River. The lumber was then shipped, mainly to the USA and most often to Boston.
Of course, my more direct interest is in the fish that gave its name to the river – Salmon River did indeed used to be full of Atlantic Salmon, and I vividly remember watching my grandfather catch one on a fly at the Barn Pool. I have caught numerous salmon myself in the river, but all of mine were small salmon parr. Unfortunately, smallmouth bass and other invasive fish species (potentially Chain Pickerel) have entered the river, severly limiting the native species of Atlantic salmon and Brook Trout. Acid rain and warming water due to climate change has further complicated things for our cold water fish. Trout Unlimited Canada, via its local Chapter – the Tusket River Chapter – is fighting to save the trout, and along with other conservation groups is working to make habitat more productive for trout and salmon.
Salmon River is also a great birding spot – often waterfowl and other birds can be spotted along the banks or feeding in the shallows as the tide comes in and out.
A beautiful river where the water flows to the sea, but we need to work to make sure the river doesn’t completely lose some of its special magic.