Salmon were listed as endangered. Did the sky fall as predicted?

Twenty years have passed since Atlantic salmon became certified as an endangered species, according to federal law. Ed Baum was a salmon biologist with the state at the time—and is now retired—and he remembers the moment well.

He remembers other moments, too, like the power of a 28-pound male Machias River salmon undulating in his hands, and the fly-fishing anglers who provided data on salmon, and the pomp and circumstance of delivering the first-caught salmon to the President of the United States.

He can also recall the chaos of the process that culminated with Atlantic salmon’s placement on the Endangered Species List.

Two decades later, salmon are still here, as is every industry that feared economic impact from an endangered status.

Read more on the latest salmon science in The Working Waterfront.

Ed Baum and Catherine Schmitt holding each other's books
Swapping author signatures with Ed Baum at the 2020 Atlantic Salmon & Their Ecosystems Forum.