What We Do
In 2000, NOAA Fisheries established the Maine Field Station in Orono to have more direct involvement in the conservation of the living marine resources in Maine, particularly Atlantic salmon. Our Maine team consists of employees from the Northeast Fisheries Science Center, NOAA Restoration Center, and the Greater Atlantic Regional Fisheries Office.
Our team works to promote the recovery and future sustainability of Atlantic salmon and other diadromous fish and their associated ecosystems. We are part of a larger effort to protect and recover Atlantic salmon; NOAA Fisheries shares jurisdiction of Atlantic salmon with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service at the federal level. In Maine watersheds and coastal waters, state partners are led by the Maine Department of Marine Resources. NOAA Fisheries also works closely with Maine tribes, other federal agencies (particularly the U.S. Geological Survey), the University of Maine system and a wide range of state, academic, public, and private partners. In all these partnerships, we take an ecosystem-based approach to recovery science.
- Salmon population assessment
- Telemetry and tagging
- West Greenland Fishery monitoring
- Fish migration and habitat use
- Support threat analysis and minimize risks
- International collaborations
- Changing environmental conditions: How are changing spring wind patterns, warming sea surface temperatures, and new predators along altered migration routes affecting salmon survival?
- Geography: While stable numbers of smolts enter the ocean, few are returning. Where are they going, and what is happening to them at sea?
- Technology: Can satellite tags and telemetry studies provide clues to where salmon go while at sea and how they find their way back to their natal rivers?
- Modeling: Continue to develop models to integrate habitat access and population dynamics for salmon and other sea-run fish, and better understand marine migration routes.
- Restoration: Improving access to historic habitat for sea-run fish through dam removal and installation of fish ladders
- Food habits: Are diadromous fish prey for Gulf of Maine groundfish, and if so, which species, when, and where?
John Kocik, Ph.D.