About the Barrier
One of the ways in which the Barrier strives to keep the salmon population at a healthy level is to trap the salmon. When the salmon swim into barrier they go into a trap until one of the employee’s releases the salmon into barrier waters. The mature salmon are kept at the barrier for up to three months for their protection. Young salmon and other fish species are released up the river. The salmon barrier has reduced mortality rates exponentially. Predators and poachers accounted for the high mortality rate before the salmon barrier project.
The 8 employees at the salmon barrier are presently employed for 18 to 20 weeks per year. Their job is to collect and record all data pertaining to Atlantic Salmon such as: gender, length, how many travel by day, how many travel by night, and their overall health. The employees also guard the salmon holding pool to prevent any illegal fishing activities at the barrier.
The employees also feed and care for up to 3,000 fry, (the name for baby salmon) which are hatched at the nearby Charlo Salmon hatchery. A holding tank at the Jacquet River salmon barrier becomes the young salmon’s nursery. They release the young salmon in late fall after clipping an identification fin. Finally, the employees open the barrier, releasing the spawn laden salmon to complete their journey up the Jacquet River.
Jacquet River Salmon Barrier has been in operation since 1994. The objective of the Salmon Barrier is to ensure the preservation of the Jacquet River salmon.
Over the years the Salmon Barrier has had many changes to the operational organization. When the barrier opened in 1994, and until 1996, it was fully operated and supervised by provincial Department of Natural Resources. In 1997, the Department of Natural Resources relinquished the operation. The Village of Belledune in partnership with the Department of Natural Resources took over the management of the barrier.