By National Research Council, Division on Earth and Life Studies, Ocean Studies Board, Board on Environmental Studies and Toxicology, Committee on Atlantic Salmon in Maine

As a result of the pervasive and colossal decline of Atlantic salmon populations in Maine during the last a hundred and fifty years, and since they're just about extinction, a accomplished statewide motion may be taken now to make sure their survival. The populations of Atlantic salmon have declined significantly, from an envisioned part million grownup salmon returning to U.S. rivers every year within the early 1800s to might be as few as 1,000 in 2001. The file recommends imposing a formalized decision-making method of identify priorities, review innovations and coordinate plans for retaining and restoring the salmon.

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As a result, our focus is much broader than only the requirements of the ESA. The committee’s work along these lines is only a beginning, but we hope that by following the example and guidance in this report, decisions and actions taken by those responsible for and interested in rehabilitation of salmon populations in Maine will be made more productive and effective. The report begins with a description of Atlantic salmon in Maine and the environments they inhabit (Chapter 2). Chapter 3 describes the most significant threats to salmon in Maine.

1 Introduction BACKGROUND Maine was once the home of abundant populations of wild Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar), but they have been declining since at least the middle of the nineteenth century (Baum 1997). Despite conservation efforts over the past 130 years or so, populations in Maine have continued to decline, and now they are seriously depleted in all the rivers that still retain natural runs. Only an estimated 862 adult salmon returned to Maine streams to spawn in 2002, down from 940 in 2001 (MASC 2002).

The State Planning Office should conduct a systematic governance assessment to see whether there are gaps in authority, overlapping authority, conflicts of goals and interests among agencies, and adequate cooperation among agencies. • The State Planning Office, in cooperation with all other agencies, should implement adaptive management to monitor performance of governance activities related to Atlantic salmon, to experiment with alterna- SUMMARY 15 tive institutions for salmon recovery, and to systematically learn and adapt to the results of new information.

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