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


Salmon being prepared for shipment to President Coolidge at the Harlow Street fish market. Credit: BDN file

A look at the tradition and history of Penobscot River anglers sending the first salmon caught in the river to the president.

The last presidential salmon was caught on May 1, 1992, by Orono angler Claude Westfall, who delivered the fish a few weeks later to President George H.W. Bush’s home in Kennebunkport, where they spent the afternoon together. Another fish was caught in 1993 by Westfall’s son, Scott, but the Clinton administration took so long in getting back to him that the younger Westfall gave up and cooked and ate the fish himself.

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