The rivers and creeks of the Pacific Northwest have thousands of years of stories flowing through them, but none is as inspiring and beautiful as the salmon run. For countless generations, salmon have been spawning in our waterways, swimming out into the salty waters of the Pacific for a few years, then returning home to continue the lifecycle.
It’s in these creeks and rivers where they are born, and it is here that they will spawn and die. This natural circle may seem trivial to some, but salmon are an important species in the region, bringing nourishment to creatures great and small. From orcas and humans, to eagles, bobcats and even small insects, salmon are part of what makes the Pacific Northwest livable and sustainable. It doesn’t hurt that they are awesome to see in shallow streams, splashing around and finding the perfect partner with which they will pass on their ancient DNA.
Salmon used to be much more prevalent in our waterways, with rumors of salmon runs so thick that legend tells stories of crossing a river walking on their backs. Today, impacted by climate change, overfishing, pollution, and development, the salmon runs are just a fraction of what a healthy and normal run looks like.
While conservationists and communities are working to help restore salmon habitat, it’s important for all of us to head out and see why they need to be protected. Along the waterways, docents and educators take time out of their fall days to teach those who come to salmon-filled waterways, ensuring that everyone who visits and witnesses this amazing circle of life understands the salmon’s importance to the Pacific Northwest. All around the region, there are spectacular places to see these salmon runs—including these ten great destinations.Read More