Wild Pacific Salmon: A Threatened Legacy

by Jim Lichatowich

Expanded in 2018 in collaboration with Rick Williams, Bill Bakke, Jim Meyers, David Bella, Bill McMillan, Jack Stanford, David Montgomery, Kurt Beardslee and Nick Gayeski.

42 pages plus 10 pages of endnotes


This document is, in some ways, a more concise, and up to date discussion of most of the points raised in his book Salmon, People and Place (see review in News section of this website). As with the book, it argues for a new conceptual foundation for how wild salmon management and population recovery are approached; recognizing the diversity of salmon populations and their links to healthy ecosystems, and the shift of emphasis from salmon as a commodity to one which recognizes their intrinsic value as central to healthy ecosystems. Implementation recommendations focus on


  • Fully Embracing Salmon Protection as Part of a Public Trust Doctrine
  • Create One Wild Salmon National Park, and
  • Adopt River and Population Specific Management.


The last section of the report, “A Brief Summary of Salmon Management in the Columbia River” provides an excellent overview of this, the most important salmon watershed in the continental US. It benefits from Jim Lichatowich’s long experience with the Columbia. Two sections are of special interest. The story of the Okanagan River Osoyoos Lake Sockeye: A Non Traditional Mitigation Measure illustrates how success may be achieved when an approach reflecting many of the recommendations made by Lichatowich and others is taken. The second “The Columbia River Debut of Climate Change”, provides a sense of how salmon and salmon managers are being presented with a whole new set of conditions and problems due to warmer water temperatures and changing seasons.


This is essential reading, and the website has lots more, check it out if you are not familiar with it.