Pacific Salmon: Ecology and Management of Western Alaska’s Populations

Sustaining Salmon: East, West, and North

David Policansky


Abstract.—Salmon (Oncorhynchus spp. and Atlantic Salmon Salmo salar) hold an unusual place among fishes due to their importance in cultures as food, sport fish, and as foci of political conflicts. They also are unusual in their anadromy, being important to freshwater, marine, and terrestrial ecosystems. This paper discusses five National Research Council studies of how to understand and sustain salmon in their various environments in Maine, the Pacific Northwest, and western Alaska. Lessons are formulated from a comparison of the studies that apply to all three regions as well as those that seem to apply only locally. The paper includes consideration of variations in life histories and abundance among the species as well as variations in physical environments and human societies in the places where salmon live.