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What is the Clean Annapolis River Project?
The Clean Annapolis River Project (CARP) is a charitable, community-based, non-governmental organization incorporated in 1990 to work with communities and organizations to promote awareness about, and to foster the conservation, restoration and sustainable use of the marine and freshwater ecosystems of the Annapolis River Watershed.

Community Orchard Planting
At the Cornwallis Community Garden
Saturday June 4, 10:00 am
Brig Lane, Cornwallis Park
View the Event Poster
Annual General Meeting
Tuesday June 21, 2016
Begins at 6:00pm
St. Luke’s Church Hall, 342 St. George St., Annapolis Royal
Download the Event Flyer
Second Annual RiverFest
July 16, 2016
Jubille Park, Bridgetown, NS
A fun-filled day for everyone!
See the Event Flyer
Visit the RiverFest Page

What's New
Conservation of Striped Bass

In March of 1982 Field and Stream magazine published an article, Fishing Across Canada, ‘Canada’s fabled waters, ranging from serene lakes to wild rivers, yield a wealth of gamefish for the visiting angler”. The article boasts of the Annapolis as Nova Scotia’s best striper stream. There is no doubt that the Annapolis has a legacy of striper fishing. What is in doubt is the future of striped bass in the Annapolis River.

History and Citizen Scientists are Key to the Conservation of Striped Bass

Dr. Trevor Avery, Striped Bass Research Team, Acadia University
Katie McLean, Clean Annapolis River Project

The Annapolis River is one of three rivers draining into the Bay of Fundy that historically supported striped bass spawning populations, the others being the Saint John River, and the Shubenacadie River. Today the Shubenacadie River supports the only remaining spawning population in the Bay of Fundy.

Striped bass are an anadramous species, meaning they spend most of their life at sea, but return to freshwater to spawn. Some striped bass overwinter in freshwater lakes; others overwinter in the ocean. They can be found in just about every river, estuary, bay, and basin in the Bay of Fundy.

The decline of spawning in the Annapolis River

According to Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) there has been no evidence of successful spawning or recruitment in the Annapolis River since 1976.

Poor water quality was perceived to be one of the major factors impacting the viability of eggs spawned in the Annapolis. In 1979 researchers collected approximately 68,000 eggs from the Annapolis River, which were held in suitable water quality for egg development, to see if they could be experimentally hatched. Forty-two percent of these eggs were successfully hatched. A similar experiment was conducted the following year, also yielding successful egg development when the eggs were allowed to develop in suitable water. Despite the presence of eggs, sampling during these years yielded no juvenile bass.

In 1994 Clean Annapolis River Project and Bear River First Nation conducting spawning surveys, collecting 400 eggs. However, during beach seines no juveniles were collected. DFO conducted beach seine surveys in 2001and 2002 and also did not collect any striped bass larvae or juveniles.

As a result of their decline, inner Bay of Fundy striped bass (Morone saxatilis) is listed as endangered by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC, 2012).

In 2010 CARP and Acadia Honours student, Tom Labenski, began conducting egg trawl surveys, beach seining, Fyke net, and angler surveys for adult and juvenile striped bass in the Annapolis River under the direction of Dr. Trevor Avery and the Striped Bass Research Team (SBRT) at Acadia University, and with the help of Traditional Ecological Knowledge from Bear River First Nation. Since 2013 sampling has expanded to include Allains Creek and Bear River. Eggs tows are also conducted by CARP staff in historical spawning areas. To date no eggs, juvenile or adult striped bass have been located during these surveys.

According to DFO, “Concerns are that agricultural pollution, pesticides or changes in pH have affected egg and larval survival. The construction of the Annapolis Royal causeway, near the mouth of the river may also have altered incubation and rearing habitat, further affecting recruitment.”

Eggs survival and larval development for striped bass is known to be closely linked to physiochemical water properties, particularly water temperature, salinity, dissolved oxygen, and the presence of a moderate current, which keeps the eggs in suspension.

Angler Outreach

Collaborating with local anglers is an important component of the project. While the Annapolis River may not draw crowds to fish stripers as it historically did, anyone who continues to fish this area is encouraged to participate as a Striped AmBassador. The Striped AmBassador campaign seeks to enlist anglers to submit catch data and scale samples for any striped bass they catch, provide historical catch records, and participate in workshops. This research is undertaken to engage anglers to become striped bass habitat stewards through identifying striped bass habitat. Not only are striped bass a prized recreational fish, they are an important component of the aquatic ecosystem, and contribute to the biodiversity and health of our marine environment.

As a Striped Bass Stewardship Centre, fishing log books and scale sample enveloped are available at the CARP office for any interested anglers. Catch data includes fish length, fishing location, date and time, gear used, and total number of fish caught. Fish lengths can be estimated. Scale samples are used for genetic research being undertaken by the SBRT to identify the river of origin of striped bass.

Anglers are also asked to report any tagged bass they catch, and to report sightings of tagged bass. Striped bass are being tagged by SBRT and other research groups. Tags provide information on habitat use, movement patterns, and growth. If you catch a tagged fish, an accurate (to 0.5 cm or ½ inch) length is very helpful to determine growth rates. Workshops are available to teach anglers how to tag striped bass with the view to eventually help the SBRT tag bass throughout their range.

Historical catch information is very useful to provide historical perspective on bass populations. Information such as fish size, numbers caught, location of catches, and time of the year all help to inform conservation efforts.

CARP and the SBRT hopes that the survival of our fish populations will give stakeholders across the watershed another reason to become more active in the stewardship of our natural resources.

More information on this project is available at or Local anglers who are interested in supporting striped bass stewardship and encouraged to contact the CARP office (902)-532-7533, 314 St. George St., Annapolis Royal, or, or the SBRT (Dr. Trevor Avery) at Acadia University (902)-585-1873,

About Clean Annapolis River Project

Clean Annapolis River Project is an environmental NGO that operates throughout the Annapolis River Watershed, with an office in Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia. Their mission is to enhance the ecological health of the Annapolis River watershed through science, leadership and community engagement. For more information visit

About the Striped Bass Research Team

The SBRT is dedicated to conserving striped bass through collaborations with recreational anglers, commercial fishers, and community members. Our methods are to enlist and engage Citizen Scientists to become Habitat Stewards of the lakes, rivers, estuaries, and coasts where striped bass reside. For more information visit

Conservation of Striped Bass
Our Latest Project
Growing Ecological Health in the Annapolis River Watershed. This project will improve ecological health in the Annapolis River watershed by engaging volunteers in tree planting activities in a variety of landscapes.
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