A great read now available from Amazon “The salmon is said to be as old as time and to know all the past and future. Twenty-two thousand years ago, someone carved a life-sized image of Atlantic salmon in the floor of a cave in southern France. Salmon were painted on rocks in Norway and Sweden. The salmon’s effortless leaping and ability to survive in both river and sea led the Celts to mythologize the salmon as holder of all mysterious knowledge, gained by consuming the nine hazelnuts of wisdom that fell into the Well of Segais. The President’s Salmon presents a rich cultural and biological history of the Atlantic salmon and the salmon fishery, primarily revolving around the Penobscot River, the last bastion for the salmon in America and a key battleground site for the preservation of the species.”
“The salmon rivers of Maine achieved legendary status among anglers and, since 1912, it was tradition that fishermen presented the first salmon caught in the Penobscot River each spring to the President of the United States. In The President’s Salmon, science writer Catherine Schmitt uses this tradition to explore the history of national environmental policy and local history. For each president who received a salmon, she profiles culinary tastes, commercial and recreational fishing trends, presidential philosophy on fish and rivers, and how national laws affected Maine’s Penobscot River, people, and salmon. The natural history of salmon is woven throughout the chapters.
The last salmon presented was in 1992, to George H.W. Bush. That year, the Penobscot counted more than 70 percent of the salmon returns on the entire Eastern seaboard, yet that was only two percent of the river’s historic population. Dams, commercial fishing, and environmental degradation had decimated Atlantic salmon populations in their home waters.”
And this from the Library Journal:
Conservation-minded readers who enjoyed Paul Greenberg’s Four Fish, those interested in natural history, fishers, and both Maine residents and visitors will appreciate this well-written work.”