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Recommended Reading: Six books about wild steelhead management in Pacific Northwest

Category: WSC Updates | Posted by: Jonathan | 3/31/12 | Comments: 3

Summary: We recommend the following six books to help you get started in understanding the plight of wild steelhead and salmon  in the Pacific Northwest and the complicated nature of their management.

We recommend the following six books to help you get started in understanding the plight of wild steelhead and salmon  in the Pacific Northwest and the complicated nature of their management.

Have a book that should be on this list? Send us a message and let us know.

Mountains In The Clouds by Bruce Brown

The story of Bruce Brown’s journey through Washington State’s Olympic Peninsula where the wild Pacific Salmon, once one of America’s most bountiful natural resources, are fighting for survival. From logging operations to commercial fishing to industrial pollution and waste, Brown describes how man’s exploitation of salmonids and waterways has virtually consigned these majestic creatures to extinction, threatening as a result both the region’s ecology and it’s people. Brown’s book was also one of the catalyst for removal of the Elwha Dams.

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King of Fish: The Thousand Year Run of Salmon by David R. Montgomery

Montgomery shows how a succession of historical experiences–first in the United Kingdom, then in New England, and now in the Pacific Northwest–repeat a disheartening story in which overfishing and sweeping changes to rivers and seas render the world inhospitable to salmon. In King of Fish, Montgomery traces the human impacts on salmon over the last thousand years and examines the implications both for salmon recovery eorts and for the more general problem of human impacts on the natural world.

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Salmon Without Rivers by Jim Lichatowich

In Salmon Without Rivers, fisheries biologist Jim Lichatowich oers an eye-opening look at the roots and evolution of the salmon crisis in the Pacific Northwest. He describes the multitude of factors over the past century and a half that have led to the salmon’s decline, and examines in-depth the abject failure of restoration efforts that have focused almost exclusively on hatcheries to return salmon stocks to healthy levels without addressing the underlying causes of the decline.

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Skeena Steelhead by Robert S. Hooton

Skeena Steelhead is a story of one of the world’s premiere freshwater game fish.  You won’t find tales of heroic struggles with world-record summer steelhead.  Instead you’ll see the events that have conspired to imperil an internationally renowned treasure. The story begins with the Skeena steelhead biology and life history.  First Nations fisheries are studied.  Commercial fisheries that began 135 years ago are described in detail, showing their cumulative impact on homeward-bound Skeena steelhead.  This tragic story could only be told by someone firmly entrenched in the river’s fisheries management community.  Before his retirement, Bob Hooton was in charge of steelhead management on the Skeena and continues to be an inspirational defender of the Skeena’s steelhead. The situation is not hopeless, the Skeena’s remarkable steelhead runs can be restored.  In Skeena Steelhead Bob Hooton shows us how we can and, more importantly, why we must.

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The Behavior and Ecology of Pacific Salmon & Trout by Thomas R. Quinn

Few subjects have generated as much emotional dialogue around conflicting scientific and policy agendas as the protection and management of Pacific salmon resources. In this major new work, esteemed fisheries expert Thomas Quinn distills from the vast scientific literature the essential information on the behavior and ecology of Pacific salmon, including steelhead and cutthroat trout. Written in a technically accurate but engaging style, it will appeal to a wide range of readers, including students, anglers, biologists, conservationists, legislators, and armchair naturalists.

PURCHASE The Behavior and Ecology of Pacific Salmon & Trout


Recovering a Lost River by Steven Hawley

In the Pacific Northwest, the Snake River and its wilderness tributaries were once some of the world’s greatest salmon rivers. As recently as a half century ago, they retained some of their historic bounty, with millions of fish returning to spawn. Now, due to four federal dams, the salmon population has dropped close to extinction. Efforts at salmon recovery through fish ladders, hatcheries, and even trucking them over the dams have failed. Recovering a Lost River depicts the compelling arguments and actions being made on behalf of salmon by a growing army of river warriors. Their message, persistent but disarmingly simple, is that all salmon need is water in their rivers, and a clear way home.

PURCHASE Recovering a Lost River

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3 Responses

  1. Jeff says:

    Just read “Recovering A Lost River”, It is a great read, guaranteed to raise your blood pressure a few points when you read how we are so being screwed by the people who should by doing their best to save our salmon and steelhead.

  2. Jonathan says:

    Yes it does, Jeff. Check out the latest issue of The Drake (Spring 2012), author Steven Hawley has an article about hatcheries and another about the Searsville Dam.

  3. Brian says:

    Another great book is Making Salmon: an environmental history of the Northwest Fisheries Crisis by Joseph E. Taylor.


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