Salmon 2100: The Future of Wild Pacific Salmon

Commitment, Strategy, Action: The Three Pillars of Wild Salmon Recovery

Jeffrey J. Dose


Restoring abundant runs of wild Pacific salmon, that is, salmon spawned in natural habitat from wild parents, to the rivers and streams of the Pacific Northwest and California bioregion has recently risen to the highest levels in the public’s consciousness. There is attention from the region’s and nation’s top elected officials to the large expenditure of public and private funds and almost daily coverage in the media. What was once primarily the subject of commerce and professional debate in the region’s fishing ports and academic institutions has blossomed spectacularly into the social, political, and economic arenas of the entire region—and beyond.

In this chapter, I will first review some of the elements that need to be considered and surmounted when crafting an effective recovery strategy, including a brief discussion of the natural history of salmon, historical and current management paradigms, and an examination of institutional impediments. Then, I will examine some restoration strategies, specifically looking at appropriate activities and geographic scales. These strategies will be based, in part, on ecological, rather than primarily social, political, and economic parameters, as in the past. Finally, I will examine the types of specific actions that will be needed to successfully implement the strategy.