Onwards and Upwards (pink-salmon_DAA0124.jpg)

So we go from sharks to salmon... I know... not really wildlife to some... but to me, the salmon runs really are on of the most remarkable journeys on this planet. It is also remarkable to me how as humans we continue to purge the planet of species.

 

In many places where there were literally millions of salmon returning to small rivers and creeks... there are NONE. For example the watershed of Knights Inlet just north of Vancouver had annual returns of ZERO a year ago.

 

Fish Creek in southern Alaska, this year had a few hundred returning chum salmon, usually there are thousands. It is mind boggling sometimes how we are unable to see what we are doing to many sects of this planet.

 

I don't mean to get on a pedestal here... but I come from one of the most plentiful and wild places on the planet, one of what was considered the last bastions for the wild, and it is no longer going unscathed.

 

This to me is not only unfortunate... but truly sad...where and when will we stop and think? Hopefully soon... before it is too late!!

 

The hardships that salmon endure just to procreate are mindboggling... not only having to swim hundreds of miles (in the case of the Fraser River salmon it is almost 800miles!!), avoid man, predators of all kinds, low water, high water, no water, rocks, barriers, only so it can lay hundreds of thousands, or even millions of eggs... of which only a handful will survive. Then... simply die. But in that death... it provides a wealth of noursishment to the land, animals, insects, and plants of the area. If this biomass disappears...what will sustain all that life?

 

In Morice Canyon in Northern British Columbia, the Bulkley river goes from hundreds of yards wide and is forced through a canyon that I can jump across in places. It provides a gathering place for salmon and at times it would seem you can walk across them. They wait patiently, for only they know what, and then proceed up the river again to hundreds of different tributaries.

 

Natives have fished here for thousands of years and continue to do so today. If you can get away from the tourists you can find out of the way sanctuaries where you can watch this spectacle unfold... and perhaps even get photos of the stuggle first hand. Struggles like this femal pink salmon only weeks away from the ocean and already turning to it's spawning colours from its chrome silver ocean-going colours.

 

My Book, Cards, and Prints of ANY of my images are available at larsphotography.com

 

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Taken on August 30, 2009