Stephen Chase

The Atlantic Salmon Conservation Foundation has helped groups re-establish an area larger than 4,000 football fields, says Stephen Chase, executive director. (CBC)

Salmon numbers are rebounding across Atlantic Canada, and with additional funding for 2015, conservation projects are about to get a boost.

The Atlantic Salmon Conservation Foundation has $1 million in funding for projects in 2015. That's more than double what the foundation has ever been able to distribute to volunteer groups committed to increasing the salmon population.

"I think it's been a real good news story," said Stephen Chase, executive director of the foundation, which manages a $30-million federal endowment fund that was established in 2007.

"We have helped groups restore about close to a million square metres in fish habitat."

That's restoration of an area larger than 4,000 football fields that is allowing the salmon population to re-establish.

salmon in net

Salmon populations are increasing in Atlantic Canada due to river restoration projects. (CBC)

The new funds will go toward projects similar to one in MacIntosh Brook, just below the Mactaquac Dam.

"The Maliseet Nation Conservation Council carried out this project in 2013, and essentially it was to remove a structure that had been built for the railway in the 1880s," said Chase.

Barricades restrict salmon from getting upstream.

If the brook was tested, Chase said, "It would show that, yes, in fact, some salmon did spawn here last year and now there are some little salmon."

Proposals for new restoration projects will be accepted this fall.