Good fish news of the week

Spawning Atlantic salmon (Photograph by Paul Nicklen, National Geographic)

Spawning Atlantic salmon (Photograph by Paul Nicklen, National Geographic)

We know that environmentalists in general, and environmental lawyers in particular, typically seem to have nothing but bad news on their minds. So we’re always happy to convey good news when we hear it. This week, it comes out of northern New York, where the USGS reports that wild-spawned Atlantic salmon have been found in the Salmon River for the first time in more than one hundred years.

There’s a long way to go before salmon will be recovered in this region — the 41 salmon found in the river this summer are all tiny juveniles, and although they were spawned in the wild, their parents were hatchery fish. But they are a very hopeful sign that a run wiped out long ago by overfishing and habitat destruction, and kept down by the introduction of a poisonous prey fish (the alewife, which contains an enzyme that destroys the vitamin thiamine, inhibiting successful reproduction of salmon that consume it) might be revived in the Lake Ontario system.

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