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Numbers of wild anadromous Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) have declined demonstrably throughout their native range. The current status of runs on rivers historically supporting salmon indicate widespread declines and extirpations in Europe and North America primarily in southern portions of the range. Many of these declines or extirpations can be attributed to the construction of mainstem dams, pollution (including acid rain), and total dewatering of streams. Purported effects on declines during the 1960s through the 1990s include overfishing, and more recently, changing ocean conditions, and intensive aquaculture. Most factors affecting salmon numbers do not act singly, but rather in concert, which masks the relative contribution of each factor. Salmon researchers and managers should not look for a single culprit in declining numbers of salmon, but rather, seek solutions through rigorous data gathering and testing of multiple effects integrated across space and time.
Additional Publication Details
Why aren't there more Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar)?