BANGOR, Maine — An international conservation group says fewer of North America’s Atlantic salmon are making it back to rivers to spawn, which bodes poorly for the future of the imperiled fish.
Atlantic salmon were once abundant in the rivers of New England and Atlantic Canada. Now they are endangered or have disappeared in parts of both areas. The salmon are born in rivers, swim to the Atlantic and return to their natal river to spawn.
The New Brunswick, Canada-based Atlantic Salmon Federation says total estimated returns of the fish to North America in 2016 was a little more than a half million salmon. That is a 27 percent decrease from the previous year.
The group says young salmon who returned to spawn earlier than others fared especially poorly last year.