A documentary about the Atlantic salmon of Lake Ontario, how we lost them, and what efforts are now in motion to bring them back to this great inland sea. Atlantic salmon once thrived in Lake Ontario, so plentiful that men boasted they could fish for salmon with pitchforks. But by 1898 there were none left. In their absence, our cultural memory of our salmon-sustained heritage faded and the quality of our watersheds was degraded. Efforts to restore this iconic species to the lake began even before they were declared gone, but they are at a turning point now: The tributaries of the lake are gradually being restored to health, making it possible for the Atlantic salmon to survive in the Lake Ontario watershed once again. It may be our–and their–last, best chance. Drawing on the reflections of prominent historical figures and scientific archives, as well as interviews with contemporary conservationists and anglers, “The Forgotten Salmon” will animate the history of the salmon of Lake Ontario and their role in the cultural heritage of the communities that developed along the lake, as well as explore current efforts to restore the salmon. The film will journey from the laboratories of Oliver Haddrath, a genetic scientist at the Royal Ontario Museum who specializes in ancient DNA and is searching for the closest living relative to Lake Ontario’s vanished salmon; to the tributaries of Lake Ontario in Ontario and New York, where conservation efforts are underway to restock salmon at different stages of their life cycles; to classrooms throughout Ontario where young students are learning to value, protect, and conserve salmon species. Can these unlikely efforts succeed in bringing back the once-robust Atlantic salmon population of Lake Ontario? Can we use 21st century technology to correct the mistakes that have degraded our environment? Will these salmon remain forgotten? “Forgotten Salmon” explores these questions, as well as documents the intertwined history of these fish and the people–both First Nations and European colonists–who lived around this great inland sea.