Explores the roots and evolution of the salmon crisis in the Pacific Northwest. The author describes the evolutionary history of the salmon as well as the geological history of the Pacific Northwest, before considering the multitude of factors, including historical, social, scientific and cultural, which have led to the salmon's decline. The book includes a clinical and critical assessment of why the numerous restoration efforts have failed. The book exposes the myths that have guided recent human-salmon interactions and explains the difficult choices facing the region, offering an insight into this chapter of America's environmental history.
Jim Lichatowich has been a fisheries scientist for twenty-nine years, working for most of that time in salmon management and research in Oregon and Washington. He is a member of three independent teams of scientists investigating the salmon crisis, and has written numerous scientific and technical papers on the history, current status, and future prospects of salmon. His essays have appeared in a variety of publications including Trout magazine, Peninsula magazine, Riverkeeper, and Shirkin Comment.
A rough trip through evolutionary time; humans enter the Pacific Northwest; the rise of the salmon-based economies; the first salmon management; conflicting economies; birth and growth of the salmon canning industry; Indian fishermen displaced; controlling the harvest; the fishery moves to the ocean; hatcheries in the United States; fish culture moves west; acclimatization - playing God with ecosystems; the political tool; science and salmon management; different roads to restoration; the road to extinction; building a new salmon culture.