Homegrown Endangered Salmon Released In The Penobscot
This morning, fish raised at the Bangor Wastewater Treatment Plant were released into the Penobscot river to fend for themselves. Researchers are hoping to see them again in about five years.All 10 of the salmon have been tagged and have had their fins clipped. Thomas Hambrock is the lab director at the Bangor Waste Water Treatment Plant. “As you can see, the release went pretty good,” he says, “as you can see, they’re a little bit bigger than last year. I don’t know if they got fed a little better.”Atlantic salmon are endangered. This is part of a program to try to get the population back to a self-sustaining level. Researchers here say improving the quality of the river is crucial to bringing the endangered salmon back. Peter Steenstra is with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and says he’s excited about the project. he thinks taking care of the surrounding environment is vital. “If we take care of the quality of our water, the quality of our river, we can have wildlife thriving in them and that’s exactly what’s happened here.” This is the third year they’ve tried this project. Researchers say the 10 salmon they released will probably hang around these waters for about a year before taking a trip to greenland, where they’ll feed for the next few years. “Hopefully these guys will be back in a couple of years and they’ll be the third generation,” says Hambrock, “these are the F2′s here. Their parents came right out of this river and we hope the next batch will come back so they can spawn.”The earliest they can expect the salmon back in the Penobscot is around 2015. Researchers say they should be around 30-35 inches long by then.