Conserving the Rich Fishery
The Inuit people have
great respect for the land of their ancestors and the wildlife on
which they depended. Conservation is necessary and natural. The Leaf
River Estuary Lodge is committed to the protection of the ecosystem
of the Leaf River, its estuary and the surrounding lands through
the responsible management of sport fishing for Atlantic salmon,
sea trout, and Arctic char. Although
the char and Atlantic salmon are abundant at the present time, and
provide world-class sport-fishing opportunities, they are vulnerable.
The lodge also provides employment for residents of the nearby village
The Leaf River Salmon: In
the Western Hemisphere, the Leaf River is the most northern river
in which the Atlantic salmon breed. To protect this vulnerable population,
the Lodge has a strict "catch
and release" rule
for salmon. Like all salmon, those of the Leaf River feed primarily
in salt water but return to the fresh water to spawn. How far upstream
this takes place is not known, but it could be as far as 200 miles.
Arctic Char of Leaf Bay: The range
of the Arctic char extends north to Baffin Island and beyond.
The Arctic Char of Leaf Bay are large and healthy, making
them an ideal objective for sport fishing by fly rod or
light spinning tackle.
Like salmon, the Arctic char feed
primarily in salt water. During the short summer season, from mid
June to mid August, the long days of sunlight make the salt water
turn green with plankton, giving rise to a rich food chain. The
Arctic char reach this bounty by swimming downstream from the
fresh water lakes where they have spent the winter. During
the summer feeding frenzy the char grow rapidly and store
sufficient reserves to last through the remaining 10 months of the
After the summer feeding, the
char swim back upstream, where they spawn, and then remain relatively
dormant until they return to the salt water in June. During the summer
feeding, char will readily strike streamer flies, imitation shrimp
(e.g., "wooly buggers"), spinners and spoons. Because they
are fundamentally a salt-water fish, sufficiently strong and fast
to avoid the seal and beluga predators, the char, like the salmon,
put up an impressive fight when hooked. It’s a matter of debate
which is the stronger fighter, the Arctic char or the Atlantic salmon.