Tag Archives: fish

Ice Age survivors: a tale of two land-locked fish

Maine lakes are home to two evolutionary wonders of the animal kingdom, Arctic char and landlocked salmon, related species of fish that exist in very few places. They descend from a common ancestor that lived millions of years ago. Evolution took them on diverging pathways during repeated ice ages. The char stayed farther north, swimming […]

Fish return to a restored Penobscot

Between the head of tide above Bangor to where it widens into the bay at Searsport, the Penobscot River shifts from a flowing freshwater waterway banked by cedar and pine to a brackish, wave-lapped marsh with a rocky shoreline. In this estuary, salt concentrations fluctuate as wind and tide push water and sediments back and […]

An Interview with Paul Greenberg

Paul Greenberg is the author of American Catch: The Fight for Our Local Seafood and Four Fish: The Future of Our Last Wild Food. A lifelong fisherman, Greenberg has written for The New York Times, National Geographic and GQ, among other publications. Greenberg received both a National Endowment for the Arts Literature Fellowship and the […]

How did U.S. presidents eat their salmon?

For eighty years, recreational salmon anglers on the Penobscot River in Maine upheld the annual tradition of giving the first Atlantic salmon each spring to the President of the United States. A closer examination of how each president’s salmon would have been prepared and eaten reveals that the celebratory eating of salmon happened at the […]

Sturgeon Moon Rising

In June 2006 I was in the boat with University of Maine researchers when they caught the second and third shortnose sturgeon in the Penobscot River estuary. It was the first sign of the persistence–or re-appearance–of a species thought to be extinct. My article about the science and history of sturgeon, Sturgeon Moon Rising (PDF), […]

image of Narraguagus River

The Can Do Crew

In December 2011 Atlantic Salmon Journal asked me to report on activities of the Downeast Salmon Federation in eastern Maine, a grassroots organization that has overseen the restoration hopes for salmon and other sea-run fish since 1982, when local anglers banded together in order to pool resources and regain some political clout, which had been […]

Spring Tradition: Anglers Vied to Catch Penobscot’s Presidental Salmon

This article appeared in the Bangor Daily News on March 30, 2012.One hundred years ago, a local fly-fisherman decided to send an Atlantic salmon, the first one caught in the Penobscot River, to the president of the United States. This is the story of that fisherman, and the tradition he began, compiled from newspaper archives […]

sardine comic book cover

Long May They Run

Just a few months into 2010, the Year of the Sardine, news came that the Stinson Seafood plant in Prospect Harbor—the last sardine cannery in the United States—was closing. The sardine song became a requiem; the herring hymn an elegy that carried across the continent, across the Atlantic, and up Penobscot Bay, where I heard […]

Redemption for the sea lamprey

Sea lamprey have a bad reputation as a flesh-eating monsters, but the sea-run fish are are native to the Maine coast. University of Maine esearchers are finding that when it comes inland to spawn in late spring, this primitive, resilient fish actually does some good in Maine rivers, from cleaning out streambeds to playing architect […]

Welcome back, Alewives!

In May 2011, I rode a cargo ferry across Penobscot Bay to the island of North Haven with two Maine Department of Marine Resources tanker trucks filled with 2,500 fish. The fish were alewives, and they were a long time coming. A grassroots effort of year-round and seasonal residents was responsible for bringing the native […]