Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) are the only species of salmon native to North America’s Atlantic coast. These attractive salmon were historically one of the most important gamefish of North America. Prized for their searing runs, Atlantic salmon are favorites among fly fishermen.
Atlantic salmon can be distinguished from other species by the presence of black spots on the gill cover.
Atlantic salmon are anadromous fish, spending part of their lives in both freshwater and saltwater. After spending two to three years in the ocean, adult salmon return to spawn in their natal freshwater streams, where the eggs hatch and juveniles grow through several stages. When the juveniles develop into smolts, they migrate downstream to the ocean where they remain for several years until returning to spawn.
Gulf of Maine Atlantic salmon have been on the endangered species list for many years. So far the population has not shown signs of recovery.