Mainer Catches Atlantic Salmon Through the Ice
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“Fisheries managers say a catch like this only happens once every couple of years
Thomas Morrison, of Winterport, Maine, was fishing a lake with his son on Jan. 28 when they pulled an Atlantic salmon through the ice, according to Bangor Daily News. Thinking they’d landed a large brown trout or a landlocked salmon, Morrison shared photos of the 28-inch, five-pound fish on a Facebook group. Several members of the group then informed him that it was actually a sea-run salmon that had made its way up from the Atlantic Ocean. Fortunately, he’d already released the fish unharmed. The species is protected in Maine, which is home to the only remaining native populations of Atlantic salmon in the United States.
The biggest giveaway was the salmon’s clipped adipose fin. Fishery technicians with the Maine Department of Marine Resources cut pieces out of these fins as the sea-run fish are counted on their way upriver. This helps anglers distinguish them from other salmonids. The agency confirmed the species that Morrison had caught through the ice, and said that this sort of thing only happens about once every two years.
“Based on the photo and the size indicated, it appears to be a sea-run Atlantic salmon that has spent multiple winters at sea versus a grilse, which would have spent only one winter at sea and would be smaller,” an MDMR spokesperson told the newspaper.
Morrison did not identify the body of water he was fishing on, but the spokesperson explained that even though Atlantic salmon are typically associated with rivers, they will sometimes overwinter in lakes.
Atlantics were historically abundant along the Eastern seaboard, but these anadromous runs crashed during the early 20th century because of dams, pollution, and overfishing. Most rivers on the East Coast were closed to salmon fishing by around 1950, according to NOAA Fisheries, and the fish were given federal protections under the Endangered Species Act in 2000.”
The full article can be found here.
Photo Credit: Original Author