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Species at Risk

Inner Bay of Fundy Salmon

Salmo salar

What is the Inner Bay of Fundy Salmon?

Species at Risk - Who Knew?

Atlantic Salmon relocates their native rivers by “scent”. As they leave the river as smolt, the chemical and olfactory signature of the river will be imprinted in their memory. As they retrace their steps back home, they follow this familiar scent!

Inner Bay of Fundy (iBoF) Salmon are genetically distinct from other Atlantic Salmon of the world.

All Atlantic Salmon spend their first years in rivers where they rely mostly on aquatic insects and small fish for food. Fast flowing water and deep pools of Fundy National Park of Canada’s rivers require them to be well adapted to find shelter.

By June of the salmon’s second or third year, they move from river to ocean. Atlantic Salmon from North America and Europe migrate within the Northern Atlantic Ocean for one to two years before returning to their native rivers to spawn. If the fish are strong and healthy, they may survive to spawn a second or third time in the future.

New information has shed light on the patterns of the iBoF Salmon. Previous beliefs included a limited ocean migration within the Bay of Fundy and Gulf of Maine. Recent studies may indicate that some iBoF fish leave these areas to move further out into the Atlantic Ocean. A larger proportion of the population matures after one year at sea than other Atlantic Salmon populations. Also, iBoF Salmon population relied heavily on repeat spawners to keep the population number stable.

Where are Inner Bay of Fundy Salmon found?

Mature adult salmon with acoustic tag.
The acoustic tags are attached to the fish on either side of the dorsal fin.
© Parks Canada

The iBoF Atlantic Salmon are found in the eastern half of the Bay of Fundy. Out of the 32 main rivers flowing into this part of the Bay, two salmon rivers are partially contained within Fundy National Park’s boundaries – the Upper Salmon River and the Point Wolfe River. All 32 rivers face the same ecological challenges as they flow through towns, clear cuts, tree farms and farmland.

At the age of 2 or 3, the fish leave their native rivers to move into the Bay of Fundy/Gulf of Maine system and some may move into the Atlantic Ocean. Their ocean migrations are not fully understood.