Editorial: Wishful thinking on Atlantic salmon

Last November, four years after the federal government closed its Atlantic salmon restoration program for the Connecticut River, along came a minor miracle: the discovery of three nests of wild salmon eggs on the lower Farmington River, a tributary of the mighty Connecticut.

In a Facebook post that as of Friday had been shared 491 times, Connecticut wildlife officials hailed a “milestone fisheries event.” In its hunt for silver linings, the independent “good news network” website posted a buoyant story about the return of “an ancestral line that researchers hope will thrive.” The website has the Connecticut flowing through New York State. That’s erroneous thinking, while “hope,” sadly, is magical thinking.

Granted, it is tempting to believe nature might succeed at something the federal government could not pull off in the 50 years it attempted, at significant expense, to engineer the return of this noble fish species.

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About the author

Jessica Hathaway

Jessica Hathaway is the editor in chief of National Fisherman. She has been covering the fishing industry for 13 years, serves on the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute’s Communications Committee and is a National Fisheries Conservation Center board member.

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