Sunday, December 30, 2007

Alaskan salmon: fish for life

August, 2007
The five species of Pacific Salmon found here in Southeastern Alaska are the cornerstone of much of the biodiversity found here. Animals as diverse as eagles and gulls to brown and black bears all rely on salmon returning from the open ocean to spawn as a primary food source in the summer. People love them too!

These pink salmon have returned to their natal stream in order to spawn and pass on their genes to future generations. All of the leaping may be in preparation for rapids to come, or possibly to loosen eggs and milt for actual spawning.

August is a very busy month for pink salmon, with literally hundreds of rivers and streams witnessing the return of these fish. The fate of each individual is assured, whether successful in spawning or not. The nutrients in their bodies will not go to waste, however. Some other animal will be the beneficiary of their return to these waters. And so this amazing life comes full circle.

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