Status, Trends & Threats
Pacific salmon species on the west coast of the lower 48 United States have experienced dramatic declines in abundance during the past several decades as a result of several factors, including water diversions for agriculture and flood control; loss of habitat due to hydropower, resource extraction and development; and direct mortality from entrainment by hydropower projects. As a result, two lower-48 populations of sockeye salmon have been listed under the Endangered Species Act. There is no single factor solely responsible for this decline, given the complexity of the salmon species life history and the ecosystem in which they reside.
For the time being, salmon habitat in Alaska remains mostly pristine. There are hundreds of stocks of sockeye salmon throughout the state of Alaska and their population trends are diverse: Some stocks are in decline while others are at equilibrium or increasing. Potential future threats include habitat loss, habitat degradation, climate change, and over fishing.
The development of the Pebble Mine is one of the major fisheries controversies right now in Alaska. You can visit the Save Bristol Bay Website to learn more and weigh in.
"Fish Resources - Salmon/Steelhead" USDA Forest Service.
NOAA Fisheries Office of Protected Resources.
Alaska Department of Fish & Game (adfg.state.ak.us).