News & CommentWildlife Biology

Atlantic Salmon Spawn Fight Over Species Protection

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Science  06 Feb 1998:
Vol. 279, Issue 5352, pp. 800
DOI: 10.1126/science.279.5352.800

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CHERRYFIELD, MAINE-- This year's sparse count of redds, the bowl-shaped gravel nests in which Atlantic salmon lay eggs, is providing grave new evidence of another dismal breeding season here for wild salmon, which once thrived half a million strong in rivers north of the Hudson. But because Atlantic salmon remain abundant in Canada and Europe, the U.S. government won't be stepping in to save them. The decision not to use the Endangered Species Act to protect seven of the nation's last native Atlantic salmon runs has rekindled a fierce debate over which animal populations are worth saving.