Atlantic salmon populations in the United States have dropped to critically low levels in the past few decades. In late 2000, wild Atlantic salmon were listed as endangered in eight Maine Rivers - Dennys, East Machias, Machias, Pleasant, Narraguagus, Cove Brook, Ducktrap and Sheepscot.
The status report and restoration plan for Maine salmon was published by the US Fish & Wildlife Service, and updated in 2006. Click here
On June 15, 2009, U.S. Federal authorities expanded the listing in two ways:
1. Added Atlantic salmon populations of three of the largest rivers in Maine, the Androscoggin, Kennebec and the Penobscot. The Penobscot has the largest Atlantic salmon run in the United States, and is an 'anchor' river for the species. (see National Register .pdf click here)
2. Designation of critical habitat areas in many of the salmon river watersheds in Maine. (see National Register click here )
A powerpoint presentation (7MB pdf) used by the agencies at the November 2008 hearings gives an excellent overview of their perspective click here.)
ASF made a press statement on June 15, 2009 on the expansion of the listing. Click here
At the November hearings, ASF's Andy Goode made oral presentations regarding the expansion of the endangered listing and the critical habitat listing click here .
Now, in 2011, the Penobscot River is the subject of a major restoration effort involving a coalition of ASF and other conservation organizations, the federal and state governments, the Penobscot Indians, and the power-generating company PPL.
In 2011 the coalition has completed purchase of the dams, and the permitting and funding is in place to remove the Great Works Dam.
The intent is to remove it, as well as the Veazie Dam, and entirely rework fish passage at a third dam, and to move generating capacity to other dams on the river. (see Penobscot River Trust for more details).
Check the Atlas of Atlantic Salmon Rivers of North America for information on Atlantic salmon rivers in the U.S., and in Canada