The last Penobscot River salmon to go to a US president was caught 30 years ago

On April 1, 1912, Bangor resident Karl Anderson, a house painter, boat builder and Norwegian immigrant, headed to the Bangor Salmon Pool, to hit the water on the first day of fly fishing season in the Penobscot River.

He, like many others, hoped to catch an Atlantic salmon — a prized, legendary Maine delicacy, fished for centuries by both Indigenous and European peoples.

The 11-pound salmon Anderson reeled in was the first one caught that season, and it so delighted him that he packed it in ice and shipped it down to Washington, D.C., for the dinner table of then-President William H. Taft, as a token of respect. Taft reportedly ate it with cream sauce and parsley.

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