Salmon Activities

Pacific salmon are the West Coast's biological and cultural icon. They are fish with a highly complex life-cycle that spans a variety of fresh and saltwater habitats. Salmon are born in inland streams and rivers, migrate to coastal estuaries and then disperse into ocean waters to grow. Once mature, they reverse their course, returning through the estuaries, fighting their way back upriver to the very streams where they were born, to reproduce, die and begin the cycle again. Most salmon stocks throughout the West Coast are at a fraction of their historic levels. Overfishing had been a major cause of decline. More recently the major cause is loss of freshwater habitat. Poor ocean conditions over the past two decades reduced populations already weakened by loss of freshwater and estuary habitat, fishing pressures, and hatchery practices.

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