Atlantic Salmon

995 CE - 2015 CE

"Atlantic salmon, also known as the “King of Fish,” are anadromous, which means they live in both fresh and saltwater. Atlantic salmon have a complex life history that begins with spawning and juvenile rearing in rivers. They then migrate to saltwater to feed, grow, and mature before returning to freshwater to spawn. Atlantic salmon are vulnerable to many stressors and threats, dams and culverts that block or impede the migratory movements between freshwater spawning and rearing habitats and the marine environment, habitat degradation, foreign fisheries, and poor marine survival. They are considered an indicator species or a “canary in the coal mine.” This means that the health of the species is directly affected by its ecosystem health. When a river ecosystem is clean and well-connected, its salmon population is typically healthy and robust. When a river ecosystem is not clean or well-connected, its salmon population will usually decline. Atlantic salmon in the United States were once native to almost every coastal river northeast of the Hudson River in New York. But dams, pollution, and overfishing reduced their population size until the fisheries closed in 1948. Commercial and recreational fishing for wild sea-run Atlantic salmon is still prohibited in the United States. All Atlantic salmon in the public market is cultured and commercially grown. Currently, the only remaining wild populations of U.S. Atlantic salmon are found in a few rivers in Maine."

"Species Directory: Atlantic Salmon (Protected)," NOAA Fisheries.