Over the years, plenty of fish stories have been shared on the porch of the Penobscot Salmon Club in Brewer.
The club, just downstream from the former site of the Bangor Dam, was formed in 1887 and is the oldest such club in North America. It’s also listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Back in 1947, a quartet of fishermen took some time on Friday, June 13, to put their feet up and survey the river. Little did they know that the boom years of fishing were drawing to a close. According to a website established to promote a Maine Atlantic Salmon Museum on land owned by the Penobscot Salmon Club, widespread pollution had taken its toll, and a commercial fishery that had once resulted in average annual catches of 12,000 salmon had dried up.
In 1947, just 40 salmon were caught.
Nowadays, Atlantic salmon in Maine’s rivers are federally protected, and can’t be legally targeted by anglers.
But the Penobscot Salmon Club is still there.
And so is the porch shown here, where anglers often sat, rested, and told tall tales about their fishing prowess.