Restoration of Atlantic Salmon to Maine: Overcoming Physical and Biological Problems in the Estuary

by John R. Moring, Univ of Maine, Orono, ME, USA,



Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Coastal Zone '87

Abstract: By the early part of the Twentieth Century, all native runs of anadromous Atlantic salmon (Salmo Salar) were extirpated from rivers of the United States, with the exception of a few small streams in eastern Maine. A combination of impassable dams and extensive pollution destroyed runs of salmon until, by 1950, less than 2% of the original salmon habitat was accessible in New England. Although a restoration program was established in Maine in 1947, it was not until the mid 1960s that there were measurable adult returns to the largest river, the Penobscot. By 1982, there were 4,100 adult salmon returning to the mouth of the Penobscot River; the number exceeded 4,500 in 1986. This successful management effort has been largely due to finding solutions to the limiting biological and physical conditions in the estuaries of the Penobscot and other impacted coastal rivers: elimination of dams, provision for fish passage, improvement in water quality, and control of sea birds in Penobscot Bay.

Subject Headings: Estuaries | Rivers and streams | Biological processes | Coastal management | Sea water | Aquatic habitats | Ecological restoration | Dams | Fish management | North America | United States | Maine | New England

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