Endangered status proposed for Gulf of Maine DPS of Atlantic Salmon: FWS and NOAA seek comments
73 Fed. Reg. 51415; 73 FR 51415 (Wednesday, September 3, 2008) (DEPARTMENT OF INTERIOR; United States Fish and Wildlife Service; 50 CFR Part 17; DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE; National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration; 50 CFR Part 224 ocket No. 0808191116–81126–01RIN 0648–XJ93 Endangered and Threatened Species; Proposed Endangered Status for the Gulf of Maine Distinct Population Segment of Atlantic Salmon; Proposed rule; 12–month petition finding; request for comments).
Because of behavioral, physiological, ecological and genetic factors, FWS and NOAA concluded that the Gulf of Maine anadromous population is discrete from other Atlantic salmon populations. In addition, the species was found to be significant because (1) it persisted in an ecological setting unusual or unique to the taxon (the Gulf of Maine is known for unique circulation patterns, thermal regimes, and predator assemblages); (2) extirpation of this population segment would represent a significant range reduction for the entire taxon (because this population segment represents the southernmost native Atlantic salmon population in the western Atlantic) and (3) the species differs markedly from other populations of the species in its genetic characteristics (genetic differences in oxygen needs provide evidence of local adaptation). Photo of Atlantic Salmon from FWS Maine Field Office
SUMMARY: We (NMFS and USFWS) have determined that naturally spawned and conservation hatchery populations of Atlantic salmon within the range of the Gulf of Maine (GOM) distinct population segment (DPS), including those that were already listed in November 2000, constitute a new GOM DPS and hence a ‘‘species’’ for listing as endangered or threatened consideration under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). This also constitutes a 12– month finding on a petition to list Atlantic salmon in the Kennebec River as endangered. We will propose to designate critical habitat for the GOM DPS in a subsequent Federal Register notice.