Once plentiful in New England’s rivers, native Atlantic salmon have since all but disappeared.
Salmon grow up in freshwater, then go out to the ocean and return inland to spawn.
But dams -- and changing oceanic conditions -- have destroyed river return rates. To combat that, New England aggressively stocked hatchery-raised salmon in rivers for decades, but low return counts and budget cutbacks eliminated many of those programs.
In Connecticut, there's still a salmon stocking program -- and although it’s much smaller than it once was -- young hatchery-raised salmon, or “fry,” are raised and stocked in portions of the state.
WNPR’s Patrick Skahill recently met up with some fish stockers on the Farmington River, and brings us this audio postcard.