Kouchibouguac National Park Federal Conservation and Restoration Program

From: Parks Canada

Backgrounder

Kouchibouguac National Park

Established in 1969, Kouchibouguac National Park extends over 238 square kilometres and includes a rich diversity of bogs, salt marshes, tidal rivers, sparkling freshwater systems, sheltered lagoons, abandoned fields, and tall forests characterizing the Maritime Plain Natural Region. The park’s name is rooted in the Mi’gmaq word Pijeboogwek, or Pigipogoek which means “river that flows and grows into the forest” or “river of long tides”. Open year-round, the Kouchibouguac National Park landscape welcomes exploration via its network of gentle hiking, cycling trails, snowshoe and country-country trails.

Conservation and Restoration Funding

Project name: Return of the King: Evaluating and adapting proven methods in endangered salmon restoration for broad-scale benefits

Estimated total: $335K

Project description: The Kouchibouguac National Park salmon restoration project will build on previous and ongoing salmon monitoring and restoration efforts within park boundaries, but also at a regional scale through active collaboration with partners. It aims to bolster knowledge, surveillance and restoration of Atlantic salmon through the following actions:

· Habitat assessments in 6 tributaries to evaluate the amount of habitat available for salmon (e.g. critical habitat locations) and possible restoration activities;

· Electrofishing to determine juvenile salmon density at these same locations;

· Use of modified smelt box nets on the Kouchibouguac, Kouchibouguacis and Richibucto Rivers to capture adults for tagging, measuring and collecting genetic samples;

· Use specialized protective trays to incubate eggs generated from captured adults and release fry in optimal sites within these river systems; and,

· Determining success and impact of restoration efforts through the use of genetic analyses.

This project will begin this summer as part of a multi-national park initiative in order to increase wild salmon abundance and restore ecological integrity at four national parks (Fundy, Cape Breton Highlands, Gros Morne and Kouchibouguac) in Atlantic Canada where salmon populations are currently in various stages of decline. To achieve these goals, Parks Canada will work with Indigenous, community, and academic partners to restore Atlantic salmon within an adaptive management framework, using common measures of success.

Recent restoration actions at some sites have resulted in the re-establishment of wild juveniles, ecosystem productivity and increased natural adult returns in some rivers. This project will begin by collecting and evaluating these successes in 2019 to determine best practices for future interventions at each site. Connecting projects and networks through common measures of success will allow a unique opportunity to evaluate restoration action effectiveness across different population statuses.

Parks Canada is a leader in conservation and takes actions to preserve national parks and contribute to the recovery of species-at-risk.

/Public Release. View in full here.