For the first time in 160 years Atlantic Salmon spawned above the old Edwards dam on the Kennebec River in Maine. Biologists from the Maine Atlantic Salmon Commission found reds in the mainstem of the river and in Messalonskee Stream up toward Waterville.
That is good news, Tim. However, I just received my copy of the latest Atlantic Salmon Journal and Maine numbers are down to almost half of last year's. The report mentions 604 returned salmon as opposed to 1,164 last year (a new record low). Twelve salmon entered the Dennys River and of those one fish was wild. Imagine that... a run of salmon dwindled to one wild fish 8-(
The timing could not be better for the Endangered Species listing in Maine. A dam breached, 160 years of deadlock broken - and despite an abysmal return hope springs from the efforts of people who care... <!--http--><a href="http://www.asf.ca/Communications/2000/nov00/listing.html" target="_blank">ASF Article</a><!--url-->
There is something about these fish and their Pacific cousins. I am not sure why or how they grip us the way they do. For me it's part awe and a good bit of envy of their life style, rambling about the rivers and the oceans of the world. Somehow I also feel unworthy of them, that such a magnificent creatures fate should lie in the hands of we who are so selfish and ignorant. Perhaps one of the saddest stories never told took place up on Cobbosse Stream last year. There was a big bright female salmon below the dam. Time after time she blasted through the foam only to fall back down on the concrete ramp below the dam. After she had beaten herself about half to death and her head and body were scratched and scraped from the concrete she headed back downstream. She found a suitable spot and began the process of beating rocks out of the way to build her red. In the spring of the following season the water was abnormaly low.In order to maintain high water levels for largemouth bass spawning in an upstream lake the stream was shut down to a trickle and her brood died in the dry gravel of Cobbesse Stream. My brother has a great picture of this fish leaping at the dam on his website http://www.gwi.net/~fks/ksalmon.html click on the fish.
TIM! You need to tell me about brothers like that! I was fascinated, enraged and motivated all at the same time reading the info on the site. If he would like more support than GWI offers, his site and all rights to publish are welcome here.
I am serious, in fact I would not only like to sponsor his message but use the community to promote his voice with him. Please ask him to think it over! If nothing else, we'll add another supporter of the cause.
BTW - I just read your email, and thank you friend. I will put up the new pages as soon as I can.