April 1 used to mark the opening of the Atlantic salmon fishing season on the Penobscot River in Maine. Anglers in pea pod boats would vie for the honor of catching the first fish, and commercial salmon fishermen would set their weirs, nets, and traps into the snowmelt-swollen current.
But as the species declined, from tens of thousands of fish in the 19th century to a few thousand in the early 20th, to mere hundreds in the 21st, people became disconnected from the so-called king of fish.
The Penobscot Nation, State of Maine, and federal government are about to make the first major change in salmon management in 50 years in the East Branch Penobscot River and Machias River.
Someday soon, people may once again know what its like to have a river full of wild salmon.
Read the story in Hakai Magazine.