Wild salmon are a power cord carrying open ocean energy into the mountains. Wild salmon feed the trees that make the oxygen we breathe. They represent food-security, ecological integrity, wealth, spiritual well-being. We love them, but in over 100 years of human attempt to restore wild salmon we have never actually used everything we know about these fish. We have tried to take shortcuts, done what suits us more than them. Wild salmon thrive without us and so the Department of Wild Salmon will apply everything we know about wild salmon to give them the opportunity to thrive, while respecting the needs of society.
Our premise is three-fold:
- Connect the hundreds of people already working for salmon in every spawning ground, rearing area and migration route to bring a depth of knowledge and capacity that has not yet been utilized to restore wild salmon runs. We will link up and apply powerful new scientific tools alongside the wealth of local and traditional knowledge.
- Use genomic profiling to offer society the opportunity to make accurate, informed local decisions on exactly what is harming wild salmon to strategically loosen the critical bottlenecks that will increase the flow of wild salmon.
- Salmon health has to be public information to make the decisions that will produce the most salmon.
We recognize wild salmon as perfect and that to restore them we simply need adapt our behavior to allow them maximum unimpeded flow within the capacity that society can allow. The knowledge and work force already engaged in support of wild salmon far outstrips any government agency and we will help these already existing organizations to thrive. We, the local people, will use cutting-edge science and traditional knowledge to identify and measure where wild salmon are being harmed. We will bring this information to society so that we can make sophisticated decisions to accept, remove, adapt or relocate human impact. We will measure the success of our decisions in salmon return rates so that we can fine tune, share and/or completely change direction. We will work with the fish. We recognize the difference between wild, enhanced, hatchery and farm salmon and are committed to wild salmon as the fish with greatest potential to populate our future.
We view wild salmon habitat as a powerful, lucrative machine that we have inherited. We want to get it serviced, rather than junk it and start over with a new system plagued by weak linkages, tenuous global financial stressors, high fuel costs and stiff competition from third world nations.