The Salmon Equivalent of Richard Hatch
After several years of controversy, the feds yesterday listed wild Atlantic salmon in eight Maine rivers as endangered under the Endangered Species Act. Only 27 adult salmon have returned up the eight rivers to spawn this year. Enviros praised the decision, but said it may have come too late, and they stressed that it would take a concerted effort by the feds, the state, and industry groups to save the fish. However, the state’s two Republican senators and its governor, Angus King (I), protested the listing. King said that it was based on poor science and that it might cause the ruin of Maine’s aquaculture and blueberry industries. Maine officials, who said they would weigh whether to appeal the decision in court, contend that the remaining salmon are no longer wild, having interbred for years with stocked fish. The feds maintain that the salmon are a genetically distinct group.