Experts Hoping for Salmon Recovery

COURTESY OF NOAA Atlantic Salmon Gulf of Maine Distinct Population Segment

Atlantic Salmon Gulf of Maine Distinct Population Segment

HYANNIS – Alaska and the Pacific Northwest are the areas of the country that are known for their salmon fisheries but the fish species used to run in big numbers in New England.

Atlantic salmon supported commercial and recreational fisheries in the region for hundreds of years and sustained Native populations for millennia and played an important role in the ecosystem.

Today, Atlantic salmon are endangered and scientists are trying to bring them back from the brink.

Two dams have recently been removed from the Penobscot River in Maine to help the salmon populations recover and NOAA Fisheries biologist Rory Saunders and other scientists have been working to monitor the effects of the dam removals on the salmon and other species.

There has yet to be an increase seen in Atlantic salmon but the smaller short-lived river herring have seen an increase at the first river dam from about 2,000 in 2011 to over 589,000 this year.

The return of smaller fish is good news for salmon because they provide benefits at different times in the salmon’s lifecycle including a food source and protection from the predation of young salmon.

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