More young Atlantic salmon are being eaten by striped bass than was previously believed. That’s according to the Atlantic Salmon Federation.
A new study published in the Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Science suggests about 18 per cent of juvenile Atlantic salmon from the Northwest Branch of the Miramichi River are eaten in some years while migrating through the estuary.
The study was completed by putting tiny acoustic transmitters into the abdominal cavity of 514 salmon smolt from 2013 to 2016.
One hundred and ten striped bass were tagged in the fall of 2013. Receivers to detect the transmitters were placed through the Southwest and Northwest Miramichi rivers, in Miramichi Bay, and across the Strait of Belle Isle.
Typical movement patterns for each species were analyzed, and then abnormal movement of some tagged smolt was compared to the movement profile of the bass. Scientists determined the likelihood that the salmon and their tags had been consumed by the striped bass.
Striped bass populations are exploding while Atlantic salmon have been declining for decades.