Fisheries and Oceans Canada has closed 22 salmon fishing pools in New Brunswick because of low water levels and high water temperatures.

The federal department closed fishing in the areas on Wednesday and the order extends indefinitely. The official notice closes the pools until Dec. 31, but DFO could open the pools earlier.

Salmon pools have been closed in previous summers for similar reasons.

Warm water loses oxygen, forcing salmon to pools of cooler water.

Keith Wilson, a fifth generation outfitter, said the pools with the greatest concentration of fish attract the most anglers.

The heat and the number of angers can increase the stress on the fish.

Wilson said he supports DFO's decision to halt fishing in those pools.

"In the long run, it's going to be a positive influence. Conservation takes priority over everybody else's interests, even my job," he said.

"I don't want to harm these fish because if I fish them in these areas and it stresses them out and kills the fish then that's cutting the nose off to spite the face, that's not in my best interest to be hurting the resource."

Wilson said restoring access to anglers is dependent on the weather and he said the rain and cooler temperatures expected on the weekend should improve conditions for fish.

He said if the conditions do not improve, the department could impose additional restrictions on anglers.

"The next step may start restricting hours on the entire river system, to fish only certain hours on the remaining open areas," he said.

"Then if it gets really extreme and fish start dying then they may have to close the whole entire river. But we're not at that stage." 

The variance order issued by DFO closed the following areas:

  • Confluence of Otter Brook and Cains River, including the waters of Otter Brook 50 m upstream of its mouth. An area locally known as Brophy’s Place
  • Confluence of Cold Brook and Cains River, including the waters of Cold Brook 50 m upstream of its mouth
  • Confluence of Salmon Brook and Cains River, including the waters of Salmon Brook upstream from its confluence with the Cains River to South Cains River Road
  • Confluence of Muzeroll Brook and Cains River, including the waters of Muzeroll Brook 50 m upstream of its mouth
  • Confluence of Six Mile Brook and Cains River, including the waters of Six Mile Brook 50 m upstream of its mouth
  • Confluence of Sutherland Brook and Northwest Miramichi River, including the waters of Sutherland Brook upstream to the Highway 420
  • Confluence of Wildcat Brook and Northwest Miramichi River, including the waters of Wildcat Brook 50 m upstream of its mouth
  • Confluence of Trout Brook and Northwest Miramichi River, including the waters of Trout Brook 50 m upstream of its mouth
  • Confluence of Butty's Brook and Renous River, and the waters of Butty’s Brook from its confluence with the Renous River to South Renous Road, an area locally known as Duffy’s Brook
  • Waters of the Renous River surrounding the pump house located at N 46.86483, W 65.67698 (WGS 84)
  • Waters of the Southwest Miramichi River in Quarryville, 300 m upstream and 300 m downstream of the Quarryville Bridge, including Indian Town Brook from its confluence with the Southwest Miramichi River, upstream to Highway 108 bridge
  • Confluence of Wilson Brook and Southwest Miramichi River, including the waters of Wilson Brook 100 m upstream of its mouth, an area locally known as the Bear Den
  • Confluence of Gray Rapids Brook and Southwest Miramichi River, including the waters of Gray Rapids upstream from its confluence with the Southwest Miramichi River to Route 118, an area locally known as Pete’s Brook
  • Confluence of Mersereau Brook and Southwest Miramichi River, including the waters of Mersereau Brook 50 m upstream of its mouth
  • Confluence of McKenzie Brook and Southwest Miramichi River, including the waters of McKenzie Brook 50 m upstream of its mouth
  • Confluence of Morse Brook and Southwest Miramichi River, including the waters of Morse Brook upstream from its confluence with the Southwest Miramichi River to Howard Road
  • Confluence of Black Brook and Southwest Miramichi River, including the waters of Black Brook upstream from its confluence with the Southwest Miramichi River to South Cains River Road
  • Confluence of Donnelly Brook and Southwest Miramichi River, including the waters of Donnelly Brook upstream from its confluence with the Southwest Miramichi River to the South Road Bridge
  • Confluence of Betts Mills Brook and Southwest Miramichi River, including the waters of Betts Mills Brook upstream from its confluence with the Southwest Miramichi River to Highway 8
  • Confluence of Porcupine Brook and Southwest Miramichi River, including the waters of Porcupine Brook upstream from its confluence with the Southwest Miramichi River to Story Town Road
  • Confluence of Big Hole Brook and Southwest Miramichi River, including the waters of Big Hole Brook 50 m upstream of its mouth
  • Confluence of Mill Brook and Southwest Miramichi River, including the waters of Mill Brook 50 m upstream of its mouth