Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) at Craig Brook NFH are collected as parr that are 1+ year old from six of the seven managed rivers every year. Each year class consists of about 200 fish for each river. As the fish grow at Craig Brook they are moved to various different rearing areas until reaching maturity. Adult sea-run Atlantic salmon migrating up the Penobscot River are also collected every spring through summer and transferred to Craig Brook where they spawn several months later. Once the fish have artificially spawned, they are then stocked back into their home river. The spawned eggs are then transferred to partnering conservation hatcheries for further development prior to being stocked or they are stocked out as eggs and fry to their home rivers. For more details on the journey of Atlantic salmon at Craig Brook NFH visit our virtual tour.
Atlantic salmon at Craig Brook NFH are fed a formulated salmon specific feed that promote fish health and nutrition. They can grow to be over 10 pounds and over a meter in length at five years old. A single female of that size may produce more than 10,000 eggs. Most females will spawn at ages three and four, where the amount of eggs per female may vary greatly from 1500 to 7000. In a typical spawning year, over 3 million eggs will be spawned at Craig Brook NFH.
For more details on the natural life history of Atlantic salmon, visit our partners at noaa.gov