ST. ANDREWS, New Brunswick — A group that advocates for the conservation of Atlantic salmon says the North American catch has hit an all-time low, and signs are mixed about the salmon population’s health.

The Atlantic Salmon Federation says the 2018 catch was a little less than 200,000 pounds. That’s the lowest figure since record keeping began in 1972.

The fish live in Maine and Canadian rivers and are caught in Canada.

While Atlantic salmon are ubiquitous in restaurants and supermarkets, those fish are raised on farms. The recreational and indigenous harvest is for personal use and subsistence.

Sea-running Atlantic salmon can’t be legally caught in the U.S. because it’s listed under the Endangered Species Act.

The group says the number of adult salmon returning to rivers increased for the first time since 2015. The returns of large salmon continued an ongoing declining trend.

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