As many as 15,000 adult Atlantic salmon will be put into the Penobscot River over the next three years, most of them after being raised in penstocks off the coast of Washington County. They are expected to create up to 56 million eggs as part of one of the most ambitious efforts yet at reversing the decades-long decimation of Maine's wild salmon population.
The first 5,000 fish will be placed in the East Branch of the Penobscot River near the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument next fall as part of the Salmon for Maine's Rivers program, which is funded by a $1.1 million federal grant and involves the state and federal governments, a Native American tribe and a New Brunswick-based company that raises salmon in pens off the Maine coast.
The grant will pay for successive annual infusions of 5,000 Atlantic salmon — half of them female — into the river until 2022, said Sean Ledwin, director of sea-run fisheries at the Maine Department of Marine Resources
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