Atlantic Salmon in North America

Historically, Atlantic salmon occurred in abundance in eastern North America: in Canada from Ontario eastward, and in the United States in all the New England states, and the State of New York. In all, 875 rivers had healthy populations of wild salmon, historically. Currently the number of Atlantic salmon rivers is down to 747 with populations reduced in size - substantially so in most cases.

This set of maps traces the fate of North America's Atlantic salmon rivers.

For detailed examination, it has been necessary to divide the salmon's natural range in North America into smaller areas. Because of its size, Québec has been further subdivided into two regions, north and south.

The salmon rivers have been categorized as follows:

HISTORIC - Originally had Atlantic salmon

EXTIRPATED - Original salmon population is lost

RESTORED - Atlantic salmon are now re-established in rivers which had lost their populations

PRESENT - Rivers currently having wild Atlantic salmon populations

ENDANGERED - Rivers whose Atlantic salmon populations have been officially declared endangered; applies only to rivers in New England (Maine) , New Brunswick and Nova Scotia

The basis for listing salmon rivers here is the presence or absence of spawning adult Atlantic salmon. Almost certainly all rivers listed as "historic" would have supported fishing for salmon. This is not the case currently for many rivers. In Prince Edward Island, for example, while there are 28 rivers with Atlantic salmon, only a few, notably the Morell, Dunk and West Rivers, have more than minimal populations present.

The Atlantic Salmon Federation is pleased to acknowledge the sponsorship of this project by the McCain Foundation.