Salmon on the Columbia

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GIS Level:
  • Beginning
Geographic Scale:
  • National
Target Audience:
  • Middle School
  • Secondary
Pacific Northwest

Salmon were a central part of life in the Columbia River Basin for the first Americans and, to a lesser extent, to early European immigrants; that is, as long as the salmon populations existed in abundance and held a central place in the region's economy. That is no longer the case and has not been so for nearly a century. Depletion of the salmon population by over fishing, construction of dams, agriculture and resource extraction such as logging and mining have all played a role in the decline. This unit explores each of these aspects of the history of salmon in the Columbia Basin as well as contemporary restoration efforts.

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