Wild Pacific salmon are an iconic part of the Pacific Ocean. Historically, and pre-historically, populations were huge and supported a substantial indigenous population, provided high quality protein to various large predators, and annually supplied sufficient nutrients to drive freshwater and terrestrial ecosystems. The increasing human population led to the significant reduction in populations through harvest, water development and diversion, logging, mining, and agriculture. Currently, wild salmon are generally rare with fisheries supported by extensive hatchery production.
The future of wild salmon, and the watersheds which depend on them, depends on implementing policy choices that address the increasing human population in the region.