Sitting on a rise above a picturesque stretch of the storied Miramichi River, the Atlantic Salmon Museum celebrates the history and lore of fishing for the legendary leaper. Here in Doaktown, New Brunswick—the de facto spiritual home of Atlantic salmon fishing in the Maritimes—it’s no secret, however, that the salmon are in trouble. From Newfoundland to Quebec, returns are down and local fisheries regularly get curtailed or closed in the summer due to ever-rising water temperatures.
Yes, there’s much doom and gloom when it comes to the iconic species, but that’s what makes a visit to the museum so special. From June to October, you can wander its halls filled with artifacts hearkening back to the heyday of the sport of kings.
Founded in 1983, the museum features a diverse assortment of salmon-fishing memorabilia, including the sizeable John Keith-King Collection. Worth an estimated $500,000, it includes artwork, reels, rods, tackle, fish replicas and antique outboards. Particularly noteworthy are the 159 shadow boxes created by artist William Cushner, which display salmon flies in three-dimensional settings, making them appear all the more lifelike.
The museum’s Hall of Fame gallery is another key attraction. It features portraits of anglers, outfitters, fly tiers, writers and artists who’ve contributed to Atlantic salmon conservation. There’s also a small aquarium where visitors can view Atlantic salmon in all stages of development, along with other aquatic life such as trout, turtles, eels and frogs. So, if you’re ever in the area pursuing the mighty salmo salar, take some time to visit the Atlantic Salmon Museum—it’s sure to not disappoint.