Today’s pacific ecosystem is fed by an ancient migration that has endured uninterrupted through the ages.

As salmon travel from streams to rivers to the ocean and back again they carve a giant geographic footprint that nourishes the rainforest and hundreds of plants and creatures that are part of it.

Our modern Pacific salmon first appeared 4 to 6 million years ago.

The map of a salmon’s journey is laid out in front of them, built into their DNA from birth - and communities, industries, fisheries, and folklore have grown up around their migration.

Yelm Jim's Fish Trap, 1885, Washington State Digital Archives, Ar-28001001-Ph001070
Salmon Cannery on the Fraser River, ca.1950s, Gulf of Georgia Cannery Society, G2010.027.031

For at least 10,000 years First Peoples have fished for salmon, weaving them into their cultures and livelihoods.

Drying and smoking salmon. Glenbow Archives. NA-1141-19

Prehistoric Sabretooth Salmon from 7 million years ago were over 2.5 meters long.

And long before that, the ancestor of today’s salmon swam through these waters.

From then until now salmon have faced predators from the sky, land and water as they migrate - plus a long, hard swim upstream against the current. But in the last 150 years the dangers have multiplied. Now salmon also face obstacles such as city sprawl, industrial and agricultural development, logging, and warming temperatures due to climate change.

Still the salmon fight to complete their journey; supporting trees, plants, birds, animals – and people – in the process.

Join them on their journey, check out the interactive puzzles along the way and experience the challenges salmon face.

You’ll find out there are things we can all do to preserve salmon habitat and help keep the cycle uninterrupted.!


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