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Genetic Status of Atlantic Salmon in Maine: Interim Report from the Committee on Atlantic Salmon in Maine
THE PRESENT STUDY AND REPORT ORGANIZATION
For this study, the committee met twice in Maine. At its first meeting in Bangor on June 12–14, 2001, the committee heard presentations from representatives of the state government of Maine, including Governor Angus King; from the Services; from the Atlantic Salmon Commission; and from a variety of industry, academic, environmental, and other private organizations and individuals. At its second meeting on September 20–22, 2001, members of the committee visited an Atlantic salmon farm and two blueberry farms in Washington County, a weir on the Pleasant River, and the federal hatchery at Craig Brook. The committee received additional briefings in Bangor. A complete list of the presenters and facilities visited is in Appendix B. The committee also considered an array of published literature and reports.
Section 2 of the report briefly reviews the biology and evolution of Atlantic salmon in Maine. Section 3 describes the current state of Atlantic salmon in Maine, including their stocking history and the aquaculture escapements that are relevant to the question of wild- population genetic makeup. Section 4 provides a description of the available data on genetic makeup and analyses of these data. Section 5 discusses data quality and related issues. Finally, Section 6 presents the committee’s conclusion that the wild salmon populations in Maine are genetically distinct from salmon in Canada and elsewhere; furthermore, there is divergence even among populations within Maine. This pattern and degree of genetic variation among populations is consistent with the patterns observed in wild salmon populations elsewhere.