Betsy Fitzgerald remembers her stepfather taking her fly fishing for Atlantic salmon on the Narraguagus River as a child in the 1960s. And she recalls how after he landed and prepared to release one, the fish thumped its tail and threw back its head, as if to say, “harumph.”

The lasting memory of the feisty game fish – now an endangered species – was not why Fitzgerald gathered her coworkers from Washington County government to help clip Atlantic salmon fins earlier this month.

“Ladies night” at the East Machias Aquatic Research Center was simply a fun night out for the 13 volunteers who took part.

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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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