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.
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.
Additional salmon and climate science resources
- USFWS Salmon and Climate Research article with contact information links
- The effects of climate on Pacific salmon – A Summary of published literature. R.J. Beamish et al, 2009.
- Salmon and Trout in the Pacific Northwest and Climate Change
- Salmon and Climate Change: IUCN Red List Report
Cascadia salmon management and recovery bodies
- Pacific Salmon Fishery Management Council
- Pacific Salmon Foundation – Salmon Watersheds Program (British Columbia)
- Salmon Recovery in the Puget Sound
- Upper Columbia Salmon Recovery Board
- Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife’s Salmon and Steelhead Conservation webpage
- Yakima Basin Fish and Wildlife Recovery Board
- Salmon recovery in Washington State (links to information, grants, and recovery plans)
- We are all Salmon People page on Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission website