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Atlantic Salmon Fly Art


Atlantic Salmon Around The world


Get the whole story in the pages of National Geographic magazine.

Maps of hatchery areas

BC Hatchery areas

Farm-raised salmon now outnumber wild fish nearly 85 to one. As wild stocks dwindle, this legendary sport fish has become endangered. 

Atlantic Salmon in North America

Historically, Atlantic salmon occurred in abundance in eastern North America: in Canada from Ontario eastward, and in the United States in all the New England states, and the State of New York. In all, 875 rivers had healthy populations of wild salmon, historically. Currently the number of Atlantic salmon rivers is down to 747 with populations reduced in size - substantially so in most cases.

This set of maps traces the fate of North America's Atlantic salmon rivers.

For detailed examination, it has been necessary to divide the salmon's natural range in North America into smaller areas. Because of its size, Québec has been further subdivided into two regions, north and south.

The salmon rivers have been categorized as follows:

HISTORIC - Originally had Atlantic salmon

EXTIRPATED - Original salmon population is lost

RESTORED - Atlantic salmon are now re-established in rivers which had lost their populations

PRESENT - Rivers currently having wild Atlantic salmon populations

ENDANGERED - Rivers whose Atlantic salmon populations have been officially declared endangered; applies only to rivers in New England (Maine) , New Brunswick and Nova Scotia

The basis for listing salmon rivers here is the presence or absence of spawning adult Atlantic salmon. Almost certainly all rivers listed as "historic" would have supported fishing for salmon. This is not the case currently for many rivers. In Prince Edward Island, for example, while there are 28 rivers with Atlantic salmon, only a few, notably the Morell, Dunk and West Rivers, have more than minimal populations present.

The Atlantic Salmon Federation is pleased to acknowledge the sponsorship of this project by the McCain Foundation.


A world traveler, the wild Atlantic salmon is an anadromous fish - one that spawns in fresh water but spends much of its life at sea. According to the U.S. Endangered Species Act (ESA), the Atlantic salmon is in danger of extinction.

The historic range of the Atlantic salmon included the North Atlantic with freshwater tributaries from Ungava Bay to Lake Ontario and southward to Connecticut in North America, and from Russia's White Sea to Portugal on the European coast.

While many of these salmon runs are now reduced or extinct, Atlantic salmon can still be found in the rivers of Ireland, the United Kingdom, Canada, the Faroe Islands, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Russia, France, Spain, Canada and the United States.


© Copyright  2007  C. Haddock