Early-Season Harvest and Salmon

May 16, 2024 By: Spencer Durrant

atlantic salmon

Photo: Thomas Bjorkan/Flickr

Commercial fishing is, and will likely remain, a key part of managing our salmon fisheries. The demand for salmon likely won’t decrease anytime soon, but the need to balance that demand with the requirements for healthy salmon stocks is imperative. That goes for both Pacific and Atlantic salmon.

That’s why a recent bit of research from the University of Helsinki is so interesting. The research shows that Atlantic salmon caught during the earliest part of the summer disproportionately carry a “large fish gene.” These fish that migrate back to spawn earlier in the year have the genetics to grow larger, but these fish get harvested in huge numbers, which reduces the overall size of Atlantic salmon.

You can read the full study here.