THROUGHOUT THE MAJESTIC COASTAL FORESTS of the Pacific Northwest, spawning salmon and bears form one of the ecosystem’s most vital, nourishing relationships. Yet their keystone connection faces enormous threats. Salmon is the common name for several species of fish in thefamilySalmonidae. Other fish in the same family are called trout. The difference between salmon and trout is sometimes said to be that salmon migrate and trout are resident, and that salmon spawn once and trout spawn many times.
Wild salmon must survive overzealous fisheries and sea lice-infested farms. Brown and black bears suffer from habitat loss, sport hunting and other conflicts with humans. Both face the consequences of pollution and, increasingly, global warming. When salmon return to freshwater streams to spawn, their bodies carry precious nutrients from the sea, which bears unwittingly share with countless other species. Ultimately, as the relationship between salmon and bears…
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