Community Spotlight: the Cheticamp River Salmon Association
Happy 40th anniversary to the Cheticamp River Salmon Association (CRSA)! They were established in 1981, with the goal of enhancing the salmon fishing experience on the Cheticamp River. Since then, they have expanded and shifted their focus to conservation and habitat restoration in Cape Breton.
The CRSA always has plenty of projects on the go, and this summer season is no exception! One current project is a partnership with the Cape Breton Highlands National Park (CBHNP) to support fish passage at critical sites along the Cheticamp River. Changes to temperature and water levels are making it harder for fish to navigate the river, and the CRSA is collecting water temperature data and planning to install instream rock deflectors in order to mitigate these changes.
Their work is not limited to the Cheticamp River, however – the CRSA also works with smaller brooks in the surrounding areas. This summer, they are developing habitat restoration plans for Farm Brook, which involves restoring riparian vegetation and monitoring water quality parameters such as temperature, dissolved oxygen, pH, conductivity, and total dissolved solids.
Another ongoing priority of the CRSA is to support fishing in the area. In 2020, they completed construction of an accessible fishing platform at Petit Lac in Grand Etang, and this spring they were able to officially open this site so the lake can be enjoyed by everyone!
Atlantic Water Network is proud of a recent collaboration with the CRSA on the creation of a Cape Breton Equipment Hub! As of July 2021, groups can borrow a YSI multi-parameter probe, making it easier and more accessible to collect high quality water data throughout the region.
By Eleanor Friddell
Photos courtesy of the CRSA