About The Species
Only farm-raised Atlantic salmon are found in U.S. seafood markets.
Commercial fishing for Atlantic salmon in the United States is prohibited. The Gulf of Maine distinct population segment (DPS) of Atlantic salmon are protected under the Endangered Species Act. Learn more about protected Atlantic salmon.
- Spindle-like body shape – rounded, broad in the middle, and tapered at each end.
- Typical of salmon species, shape is flattened toward the sides.
- Head is relatively small, about 1/5 of body length.
- Ventral paired fins are prominent, especially on juveniles.
- Spawning females lay an average of 7,500 eggs.
- Juvenile “smolts” grow much faster in saltwater than in freshwater.
- Growth rates vary, depending on season, age, sex and population density.
- After two years at sea, adult salmon have an average length of 28 to 30 inches and a weight of 8 to 12 pounds.
- Atlantic salmon do not die after spawning.
- Permitting for salmon aquaculture is governed by federal, state and local governments.
- The federal agencies involved are NOAA, the Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Food and Drug Administration, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, and the Coast Guard.
- Salmon farms must adhere to federal regulations including those in the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation & Management Act, the Endangered Species Act, the National Environmental Policy Act and the Clean Water Act.
Recreational Fishing Regulations
Commercial Fishing Regulations
Subsistence Fishing Regulations
The U.S. Atlantic Salmon Assessment Committee monitors the population status of U.S. Atlantic…
Recovery Plan (2019) for the Gulf of Maine Distinct Population Segment of Atlantic Salmon (Salmo salar)
The goal of this 2019 recovery plan is the removal of the Gulf of Maine DPS of Atlantic salmon from…
In 2015, NOAA Fisheries announced a new program to focus and redouble our efforts to protect eight…
Data & Maps
Tracks the implementation of recovery actions from Endangered Species Act (ESA) recovery plans.