Tuesday, December 8, 2015

In Downeast Maine, an innovative attempt to save U.S. Atlantic salmon

Buffeted by dams, loss of habitat, commercial fishing off Greenland, and climate change, U.S. runs of Atlantic salmon are threatened with extinction and their numbers have been trending in the wrong direction.

In this week's Maine Sunday Telegram I write about an innovative, Icelandic-funded project in eastern Maine that hopes to turn the tide. Here's a taste:

The approach, which turned a blighted river on the Scotland-England border into one of the greatest salmon angling locations in the British Isles, focuses on growing fitter fish. Pioneered over four decades by the late Peter Gray, the Scottish manager of a hatchery on the River Tyne, it hatches and raises baby fish in on-river hatcheries using local, unfiltered water and a variety of techniques that more closely mimic the natural environment of early life-stage salmon.

For more background on the problems facing Atlantic salmon in the U.S. and the Canadian Maritimes, please read this article from "Mayday", my recent six-part Press Herald series on climate change in the Gulf of Maine.

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