The Steady Decline of Salmon Populations

1572 WordsFeb 25, 20186 Pages
From the San Francisco Bay to streams and rivers of Oregon, salmon populations have been steadily decreasing over the past two decades but more rapidly within recent years. In general, fish populations in the Pacific Northwest region have always fluctuated, but the overall trend continues on a downward slope to extinction. While natural phenomena such as flooding and predators of the food chain do affect salmon populations, human activity poses the greatest threat by far. The four main reasons of salmon plummeting are as followed: Harvest, Hatcheries, Hydropower, and Habitat. It’s clear that water ecosystems and management of human activity threaten salmon as a whole. Whether it’s a bay, river or stream- whatever body of water that contains salmon should be subject to ethics that guide our actions as a part of achieving a better overall environment. Salmon have a truly incredible life cycle. Like all fish, salmon spawn from female eggs and then go on to develop into “alevin,” which is a term for newly hatched fish. First off, they derive nourishment from the yolk sac from where the salmon are born. Once the sac has been absorbed, the “fry,” or baby fish, then emerges from the river gravel and starts the search for food. Fry instinctively deal with the river currents and learn to swim together as a school right away. Anywhere from a couple days to two years old, fry will continue to live in fresh water until they start the next, “smolting,” phase. Smolting is a
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