The full importance of recovering coho salmon hadn’t hit me until I realized exactly how many people and organizations have come together to try to make their dream a reality. Public resource agencies, non-profit NGOs, and hundreds of private land owners in all, despite whatever differences they may or may not have, believe the salmon have every right and need to be here. And maybe more so in the way that nature doesn’t need us but it is we that actually need it to keep thousands of jobs, to help prevent excessive erosion, to fuel nutrients into our watersheds, to stay a part of the three billion dollar a year industry of the Pacific Northwest, and to keep our rich cultural history alive. For an anadromous fish that only lives three years, that’s quite an impact. It really goes to remind me about how fully humans are impacted by all aspects of nature.
Andrew Snyder is a new NANPA board member, a professional biologist and photographer, and a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Mississippi. He recently posted a piece on maptia.com, a website devoted to stories and photography of the natural world, about the annual spawning of sockeye salmon, which return to freshwater rivers from the Pacific Ocean each year to lay their eggs.
When sockeye salmon are born, they spend between one and two years in freshwater lakes or streams. Then, they migrate to the ocean and spend two or three years there. Once they’re ready to spawn, they head back to the river where they were born. Continue reading →