Salmon 2100: The Future of Wild Pacific Salmon

Learning to Decide and Deciding to Learn: Conduits to Wild Salmon in 2100?

Gustavo A. Bisbal


We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.

Albert Einstein (1879–1955)

Because of my aversion to reading crystal balls, there is very little I feel comfortable predicting about the world that humans and salmon will experience in the year 2100. However, I do make several exceptions. One of them echoes the projections others have advanced predicting that the growing demands of human societies in western North America will lead to undesirable environmental impacts and staggering resource deterioration (See Lackey et al. 2006, this volume). I also believe that the relentless consumption of clean water, old growth forests, prairie expanses, and fish and wildlife resources during the next century will exacerbate the crisis mode that typically sends administrators scrambling for emergency remedies. Wild salmon are no exception. Human sprawl, unsustainable consumptive practices, and real estate development from southern British Columbia to southern California will place intense pressures on finite water resources and suitable habitat for salmon. When pushed to extremes, the outcome of the competition between tens of millions of humans and interspersed salmon populations does not seem to favor the fish. Based on historic and current trends, the prognosis for wild salmon runs appears bleak (Nehlsen et al. 1991; Slaney et al. 1996). And, regrettably, I know for certain that 100 years from now the salmon themselves still will not have a voice in any decisions affecting their future.