Aboriginal Fisheries Strategy (AFS) Programs
MNCC has been working with the AFS program of St. Mary’s First Nation (SMFN) since 2008. We designed and executed experimental eel fishing in the St. John River and culvert surveys in the St. John River watershed (near Fredericton) with the help of seasonal fisheries workers hired by SMFN.
In addition MNCC has made necessary arrangements to train a few fisheries workers in captive breeding and culturing of Atlantic salmon at the Mactaquac Biodiversity Facility of Department of Fisheries and Oceans in 2008. A few years later MNCC has developed a study program to survey culverts in the St. John River watershed with the help of Fundy Model Forest. A few fisheries workers hired under the AFS program, St. Mary’s First Nation (SMFN) were trained to collect information about culverts to evaluate the current status. MNCC has been in the process of identifying and gathering information about fish passage barriers in the St. John River watershed since 2009 with the help of SMFN.
In 2013, MNCC has started working with Woodstock and Tobique First Nations (WFN and TFN). We conducted a culvert survey in the St. John River (SJR) watershed from Hartland to Mactaquac in collaboration with the Aboriginal Fisheries Strategy (AFS) Working Group of WFN. Experimental eel fishing was conducted in the Tobique River to ascertain American eel abundance and factors influencing catch rates of traditional eel traps in collaboration with TFN. Since eels were not caught during experimental eel fishing in the river from 2013 - 15, the experiment was redesigned to determine finfish abundance in the river. Moreover, present status of culverts in the SJR watershed near Tobique is also evaluated with the help of AFS - TFN. Since 2014, AFS - WFN has been assessing fish habitat health in freshwater streams in the Wolastoq Watershed. AFS - WFN has so far assessed Springhill and McIntosh Brooks in Fredericton and Marvin's Brook, Shiktehawk Stream, Big PresqueIsle River and Bulls Creek in Woodstock to evaluate fish habitat health.
Currently we are working with AFS Working Groups of five of the six Maliseet First Nations to evaluate natural resources, fish habitat, water quality and fish populations in the SJR and tributaries. In collaboration with AFS - Kingsclear First Nation (KFN) and SMFN, MNCC has recently assessed the fish habitat health, water quality and fish populations in McIntosh, Murray and Indian Brooks, Kingsclear. This project was funded by the New Brunswick Wildlife Trust Fund. We have been conducting experimental eel fishing and culvert surveys in the SJR watershed near Oromocto in collaboration with Oromocto First Nation (OFN) since 2013.