Thank You, Salmon!

Jan 2, 2019 | Healthy Habitats, Kachemak Bay, Alaska

 Photos courtesy Kachemak Bay Reserve.

Happy New Year, everyone! Did you know that 2019 is the International Year of the Salmon?

In the communities around Alaska’s Kachemak Bay Reserve, it’s safe to say that every year is the year of salmon. Be it king, coho, or sockeye, salmon is integral to Alaska’s economy and culture, and salmon fishing is an common experience enjoyed by diverse people of all generations. Yet while many Alaskans have seen an adult salmon—in the net or on the plate—few have actually seen the juvenile salmon that begin their lives far from the ocean.

For the staff at our Kachemak Bay Reserve, the presence of these juvenile fish in the tiniest of headwater streams is a reminder that the surrounding watersheds are healthy enough to sustain Alaska’s fisheries. In their studies of juvenile Coho habitat, Reserve staff have demonstrated the strong connections between local watersheds and the ocean, and through collaboration with local stakeholders, they are working to maintain those connections.

Thank you, coho salmon! Your abundance in the watersheds around our Reserve inspires us to work harder to meet the challenges of 2019. And an early “Happy Twentieth Anniversary” to our Kachemak Bay Reserve! With hundreds of thousands of acres of freshwater streams, ocean waters, and pristine woods, Kachemak is the largest—and one of the loveliest—in our national System.

Have you had an encounter with salmon or another critter at one of our Reserves? We’d love to hear about it! Share your Reserve story.

What We Work ForHealthy HabitatsThank You, Salmon!