Salmon have long been the symbol and lifeblood of the people and species who call the Pacific Northwest home.  These iconic species are integral to our region’s culture, economy, and environment.  There are six salmon species, all of which are present in Cascadia.  These species are chinook, chum, coho, pink, sockeye, and steelhead (recently reclassified from the trout family to salmon).  Learn more about these species by clicking here.

Summer Chinook salmon spawn in the Skagit river from August through October each year — Photo by Dave Bickford, courtesty of U.S. Forest Service

Summer Chinook salmon spawn in the Skagit river from August through October each year — Photo by Dave Bickford, courtesty of U.S. Forest Service

Landscape stressors from past and present human activities already impact salmon populations in Cascadia, many of which are at risk. Climate change impacts would further stress these salmon populations. Salmon are particularly sensitive due to their seasonally timed migration upstream to breed. Higher winter streamflows and earlier peak flows due to climate change would damage spawning nests, wash away incubating eggs, and force young salmon from rivers prematurely. Lower summer streamflows and warmer stream and ocean temperatures are less favorable for salmon.

Salmon are a conservation target of the Great Northern LCC in their Strategic Conservation Framework, and a priority resource of the North Pacific LCC in their Science and TEK Strategy.  In our first year, the forum recognized the high value of salmon by focusing on the charismatic sockeye salmon.  We recognize that throughout Cascadia, there is a strong existing network of agencies, NGO’s, tribes and First Nations, and partners working to manage and recover salmon.  We aim to complement their work by identifying opportunities to highlight and synthesize information in a regional context, bridge the latest science to our regional needs, highlight actions and needs from partners on-the-ground, and bring partners together to foster a regional network of planning and recovery in a changing future.

Click on the image above to view a short video hearing from partners in Cascadia working on salmon management and recovery as they speak to why it is important to them for our Partner Forum to make salmon a priority issue at this time. This video was produced for our 2014 Cascadia Partner Forum WildLinks meeting.

Click on the image above to view a short video hearing from partners in Cascadia working on salmon management and recovery as they speak to why it is important to them for our Partner Forum to make salmon a priority issue at this time. This video was produced for our 2014 Cascadia Partner Forum WildLinks meeting.

Additional salmon and climate science resources

Cascadia salmon management and recovery bodies

Other resources

Return to Priority Issues page