History of Restoration in Antigonish

Long before the association was formed, in 1992, restoration began in the Brierly Brook as a demo project for the Government of Canada and the Nova Scotia Recreational Fisheries Planning Agreement. From 1994-95, further restoration sites were completed in Brierly Brook through the cooperation between the Dept. of Fisheries and Oceans and St. Francis Xavier University. Monitoring data was collected from the Brierly Brook sites from 1992-2000 to measure the impacts the restoration techniques had on the river. Monitoring data included water temperature, acidity levels, fish species surveys, and redd surveys (counting the number of salmon nests in the streambed). Based on the monitoring results, installation of a variety of restoration structures showed to have a significant improvement of fish movement up and down Brierly Brook with a major increase of Atlantic Salmon spawning throughout the whole Brierly Brook system.

Habitat Unlimited, a local stewardship group that is not longer active, completed extensive restoration work on the James River and Brierly Brook between 1994 and 2004 which paved the way for stream restoration in Nova Scotia, demonstrating through scientific studies that digger logs could restore habitat and increase salmon populations. The Antigonish Rivers Association still maintains habitat restoration structures that Habitat Unlimited installed almost 30 years ago. 

Since 2013 the Antigonish Rivers Association has been an active watershed stewardship group, completing restoration projects in the 4 major watersheds, addressing issues such as bank erosion, over widened channels, loss of biodiversity and re-establishing forested buffer zones along rivers. Guided by technical support from the Nova Scotia Salmon Association’s Adopt a Stream program, ARA has completed dozens of restoration projects using well established habitat restoration techniques.

Common Threats to Aquatic Habitats

In many watersheds in Nova Scotia, floodplain and upland forests have been replaced with agriculture fields. As a result the hydrologic cycle has been disrupted, resulting in degraded fish habitat and less biodiversity. Common threats to aquatic habitats in Antigonish include riparian zone loss, land-clearing, and barriers to fish passage such as improperly installed culverts. Over the past several years many of ARA’s projects have become showcase sites for other watershed stewardship groups in Nova Scotia.


View Restoration Map

View Our Restoration Projects On A Map

The full scope of our project work can be seen across the county of Antigonish.
NOTE: This map was produced by the Nova Scotia Salmon Association
View Restoration Map

“Our success is the result of our membership and the community that supports them.”

“Our success is the result of our membership and the community that supports them.”

The history of our organization is the story of a small group of concerned citizens working for a better tomorrow.

We Accept Donations.

The ARA is a non-profit organization but does not have charitable status. Anyone interested in donating money to the organization that wishes to receive a tax receipt can make a donation on the NSSA web site. Please indicate that you would like the money to be used for work by the ARA.

Fishing Regulation and Season Information.

One of the key roles of our organization is education. To help your quickly connect with the most essential information we have prepared a page with all the most critical links on regulations and seasons.