After a gloomy week of wet weather, the email I received from Mitch Simpson (along with a bit of sun) certainly brightened up my Thursday.
Simpson, a fisheries biologist for the Maine Department of Marine Resources’ Bureau of Sea-Run Fisheries and Habitat, reported that Atlantic salmon returns on the Penobscot River had picked up a bit.
As of Thursday, 200 fish had returned to the fish trap at Veazie Dam. And while that’s not a particularly high number — 488 fish had returned by the same date a year ago, 1,464 by June 13, 2011 — it was a marked improvement.
In fact, 116 salmon made the trip to Veazie since the last report, issued eight days ago.
Simpson reported that the Penobscot River is running at about 50,000 cubic feet per second, and is continuing to rise after the recent wet weather. The good news: Water temperatures are running between 60 and 63 degrees, which shouldn’t discourage salmon from heading in from the sea.