Atlantic salmon are once again reproducing naturally in New York’s Salmon River, a Lake Ontario tributary that hasn’t held a breeding population of the species in more than a century.
Atlantic salmon are native to Lake Ontario, but were nearly wiped out by overfishing and habitat destruction in the late 1800s. The Salmon River is a popular fishery for introduced Pacific salmon. Until recently, Atlantic salmon stocked there haven’t been able to reproduce because of a vitamin deficiency caused by eating invasive alewives.
Experts said one explanation for the turnaround is a decline in Lake Ontario’s alewives coupled with the rise of invasive round gobies, a thiamine-rich species.
Image credit: Panoramio