Salmon to be Back in Ste-Catherine


Elodie Geoffrion, Journalist

Since 1979, “La corporation du bassin de la Jacques-Cartier” (CBJC) has worked to reintegrate Atlantic salmon in the region, hoping one day to re-open fishing.

Since its creation in 1990, Claude Sauvé has been behind the corporation and is now in his 32nd year in this project The CBJC has been considered an organization of watersheds, since 2004.

In the last century, there were a lot of salmon in the river. Tourists and famous people loved to catch Salmon. They did it for fun or to sell.  Later, in 1913, a barrage was built, which made it impossible for fish to swim up to their reproduction zones. The log drive also contributed to the fish’s disappearance.
In 1979, the idea to reintroduce the salmon surfaced. Later, in the early 90S’ 1200 salmons were reintegrated. This initiative was onerous and a lot of people have been involved there.

The efforts did not stop there and many different people decided to help with this grand project. As an example, Some schools take eggs and hatch them to release them later when they are grown up at the fry stage(about 2-3 cm). This process starts in March and ends in early Juin. This is the case for Ariane Giguere a primary teacher that has actively participated in that effort for the last ten years.

Miss Giguere is passionate about salmon fishing and spends most of her summer tracking salmon across the province. She found the CBJC by talking with other fishermen and was instantly attracted to this project.

With time students are really getting involved. They start in the fourth year of primary school. In the beginning, the eggs were in the class and the students in the fifth and sixth years couldn’t continue to see the fish. So, they put the aquarium in the library, so all students can continue to see the salmon and tend to them. The teachers and the kids are really emotional when they lose an egg and are truly happy to have the sensation to have made a difference.

“Kids really love to give names to the salmon and pretend they recognize them,” said Miss Ariane. When it becomes time to release them in Ste-Catherine’s river they are very excited.  “They take their boots off and go see the fish swimming and exploring, as they are set free in the wild,” said the primary teacher. The janitor gets involved too, on the weekend the salmon has something special to be done, the janitor goes, Ariane is like their mother and the janitor, their father.

The CJBC provides the schools with an aquarium and all the necessary equipment for the fish.