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COSEWIC assessment and status report on the Atlantic Salmon (Lake Ontario population) in Canada

Existing Protection or Other Status Designations

The Nature Conservancy has assigned Atlantic salmon an overall Global Heritage Status Rank of G5 (demonstrably widespread, abundant, and secure) and a National Heritage Status Rank of N4 (apparently secure) for both Canada and the United States (NatureServe2001).  However, on a local level, a number of populations are at risk: the Gulf of Maine population is listed by the NatureServe as G5T1Q (critically imperiled), Canada’s SARA lists the Inner Bay of Fundy Atlantic salmon as Endangered (2003), and the US ESA has listed a Distinct Population Segment of the Atlantic salmon in Maine as Endangered (2000). 

The habitat of the Atlantic salmon could in theory be protected under the habitat provisions of the federal Fisheries Act.  As of 2000, there are no commercial Atlantic salmon fisheries in Canada or the United States.  In Ontario, the season for stocked Atlantic salmon is open from January 1 to September 30, with an allowable harvest of one salmon per day. In Lake Ontario, anglers may take one fish, 63 cm or greater, per day.  With the exception of some stream mouths, the tributaries of Lake Ontario in Ontario waters are closed to Atlantic salmon fishing, year-round.