Atlantic salmon are making a comeback in Maine, the United States since conservation measures have been put in place, and should efforts stay strong, the fish are on track to thriving as they used to.
Protected by the Endangered Species Act, the Atlantic salmon survives thanks to successful conservation measures. According to the latest official count, there are more than 1,500 in Penobscot River, a record in comparison to the past decade.
In four of the last five years, the number of salmon in Penobscot River reached over 1,000 after several years when the number never exceeded 840. Once, there were tens of thousands of them in the Penobscot River, which remains home to the country’s largest run of Atlantic salmon. The largest number in recent history was registered in 2011, with 2,900 specimens. Overfishing, loss of habitat, and pollution have hindered the fish species’ survival. Conservation groups have long asked for the removal of dams to restore salmon. The latest count gives their request a leg to stand on since “it is a tick up compared to previous years, but in the grand scheme of things, it’s still abysmal,” states Dan McCaw, fisheries program manager for the Penobscot Nation.