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Gros Morne National Park of Canada

Water Wonders

Baker's Brook Falls, GMNP
Baker's Brook Falls, GMNP
© Parks Canada / Michael Burzynski / 1172-049
Freshwater Facts

Even the waters of Newfoundland are different from the mainland. Newfoundland waters harbour no true freshwater fish! (Species that live only in freshwater.) Of the fish species found on the island, most spend at least part of their lives in salt water. The chart below lists fish species found in freshwater in Gros Morne National Park.

Scientific Name

Common Name

Native Species (Confirmed)
Salmo salar Atlantic salmon
Salvelinus fontinalis Brook trout
Salvelinus alpinus Arctic char
Osmerus mordax Rainbow smelt
Anguilla rostrata American eel
Microgadus tomcod Atlantic tomcod
Alosa pseudoharengus Alewife / Gaspereau
Apeltes quadracus Fourspine stickleback
Gasterosteus aculeatus Threespine stickleback
Gasterosteus wheatlandi Blackspotted stickleback
Pungitius pungitius Ninespine stickleback
Exotic Species (Confirmed)
Oncorhynchus mykiss Rainbow trout
Expected Species
Acipenser oxyrhynchus Atlantic sturgeon
Alosa sapidissima American shad
Petromyzon marinus Sea lamprey

Find out about the scientific research being done in Gros Morne National Park on the life history variation and genetic differentiation in isolated populations of brook trout. Or read about the monitoring project on juvenile salmonids.

Rainbow Trout

Released into Island waters as game fish, and also as escapees from aquaculture enclosures and fishout ponds. These aggressive western trout are now occasionally found in streams in the park area. In other places where they have naturalized, they have reduced or replaced native trout and salmon populations. Learn more about the scientific research on the impacts of exotic rainbow trout in the Trout River watershed .

Atlantic Salmon
Atlantic Salmon
Atlantic Salmon
© Parks Canada / Michael Burzynski / 1608-098, A1-20

Gros Morne National Park contains several different strains of Atlantic salmon. Many rivers have small populations of fish that go to sea to mature and return to spawn. Some waters contain ouananiche-salmon that mature and raise young entirely within fresh water. There are also pygmy landlocked salmon in some highland lakes. Throughout eastern North America, salmon have suffered from the damming of spawning streams, silt and pollution from forestry and towns, the marine fishery, increasing water temperature, and poaching. New threats include diseases spread by aquaculture operations, the escape of competitive species from fish farms, and pesticides that mimic fish hormones. The commercial salmon fishery ended in 1992, but even with stringent protection salmon numbers continue to dwindle in some rivers. Read on about the Atlantic Salmon Stock Assessment for Trout River (2001 and 2002) .

Beautiful Bonne Bay
East Arm of Bonne Bay
East Arm of Bonne Bay
© Parks Canada / Peter Hope / 1193-020, G6-154, 1973

Bonne Bay is not a part of Gros Morne National Park, but it's influence on the area's climate, wildlife, and history cannot be ignored. Bonne Bay is a double fjord. The South Arm is open to the sea, but a shallow sill called "the Tickle" isolates the bay's deep East Arm from the Gulf of St. Lawrence. Although the surface waters of East Arm are warm in summer, its depths stay at Arctic temperatures. This creates living conditions that support an amazing variety of plants and animals.

To learn about the research that is being done in Bonne Bay, visit the Bonne Bay Marine Station in Norris Point.