Garry Griffin is a happy man now that the natural flow of tidal water below the Newly Installed Petitcodiac Causeway was restored.
For a long time now, close to 10 years, Griffin advocated for the restoration of the natural flow of the river. Today, he feels elated as he looks down on the river from a Riverview park.
He said that he was a great feeling, and it feels good to watch the river flow after 50 years of advocating for its restoration.
Griffin, the sports fisherman, moved to Moncton in the 60s. then, a research study on salmon numbers that was completed around 1966 said the numbers stood between 8000 and 10000.
However, once the causeway was fully done in two years after the study came out, the river was dammed once its gates closed.
He recalls being on the causeway watching the salmon run. He specifically remembers them being decimated right before the gate structure. The river’s tide cleared leaving them stranded, which made them an easy target of seagulls. A short while later, the fish number declined.
It is this plight of the salmons that led him to begin campaigning for the river’s restoration.
He offered to work with Moncton’s Fish and Game Club, and a short while later, Brunswick’s wildlife Foundation. They set up traps along the river to monitor the salmon population. Unfortunately, the passage did not work as expected due to tidal height.
After many years of combative debates, a bridge that was designed in part to help solve this is an issue is close to completion.
Last April, traffic officials closed the causeway to facilitate the final stages of the $62m project financed by the government. It will close once again on Tuesday, 5p.m, and gates open for good forcing water to follow the causeway under the bridge. The road will reopen on the 5th of October.
Griffin notes that since the gates were opened, Salmon numbers are on the rise.