About Pacific Salmon


Over the years, tremendous demand for the salmon resource called for commitments by both countries to undertake enhancement activities as part of their overall fisheries management. Without such activities, current salmon catches could not be maintained or increased.

Enhancement covers a wide range of programs, including hatcheries, lake enrichment, fishways, spawning channels, fish rearing, stream surveys, and habitat improvement.

In addition to extensive government programs, Canada and the United States enjoy a large and vital volunteer force in salmon enhancement. Thousands of volunteers in Washington, Oregon, and British Columbia- from school children to senior citizens- actively participate in more than one thousand public involvement projects and are a valued part of salmon enhancement efforts.

The Salmon Treaty offers each country the opportunity to begin new enhancement programs or expand existing operations with confidence that the benefits of those activities will not be lost to uncontrolled intercepting fisheries.

Value of the Salmon Fisheries

Salmon play an important role in the social and economic fabric of North America’s Pacific coast. Along with a cultural and historical value intricately woven into the society, the economic value of the salmon has a tremendous impact on the quality of life.

Tribal groups and First Nations of the region depend upon the Pacific Salmon in almost every facet of their existence. The fish hold a central place in the ceremonial, subsistence and commercial aspects of these people’s lives.

Each year the commercial and recreational salmon fisheries are worth millions of dollars to the economies of both the United States and Canada.

The impact of the Pacific salmon fisheries can be seen in the thousands of jobs and scores of industries they support. A partial list of fishing-dependent businesses would include marina operations, fish processing industries, transportation, fuel sales, boat building and repair, retail fish sales, tackle manufacturers and distributors, hotels, restaurants and resorts. The Pacific Salmon Treaty provides strong assurance of a more stable and prosperous future for many such enterprises.

Biology of Pacific Salmon

The five species of Pacific Salmon found along the west coast of North America are anadromous – they migrate from the ocean to freshwater to spawn. Spawning completes their life cycle begun in the same freshwater stream two to six years earlier. Homing of Pacific Salmon to their stream of origin results in important biological characteristics for groups or stocks of fish. Each stock is genetically adapted to the environment in which it resides, and exhibits unique characteristics such as migration route, migration timing, and productivity. Such biological traits make consideration of individual stocks an important part of salmon management, designed to produce optimum production from the resource.

Further information on Pacific Salmon

If you would like to learn more about Pacific Salmon we recommend the following websites:



Chinook: http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/index.cfm?adfg=chinook.main

Chum: http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/index.cfm?adfg=chumsalmon.main

Coho: http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/index.cfm?adfg=cohosalmon.main

Pink: http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/index.cfm?adfg=pinksalmon.main

Sockeye: http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/index.cfm?adfg=sockeyesalmon.main

Steelhead: http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/index.cfm?adfg=steelhead.main