Cover image for Salmon without rivers : a history of the Pacific salmon crisis
Salmon without rivers : a history of the Pacific salmon crisis
Lichatowich, Jim.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Washington, D.C. : Island Press, [1999]

Physical Description:
xvi, 317 pages : illustrations, maps ; 24 cm
Format :


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Material Type
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SH348 .L53 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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Explores the roots and evolution of the salmon crisis in the Pacific Northwest. The author describes the evolutionary history of the salmon as well as the geological history of the Pacific Northwest, before considering the multitude of factors, including historical, social, scientific and cultural, which have led to the salmon's decline. The book includes a clinical and critical assessment of why the numerous restoration efforts have failed.

Author Notes

Jim Lichatowich has been a fisheries scientist for twenty-nine years, working for most of that time in salmon management and research in Oregon and Washington. He is a member of three independent teams of scientists investigating the salmon crisis, and has written numerous scientific and technical papers on the history, current status, and future prospects of salmon. His essays have appeared in a variety of publications including Trout magazine, Peninsula magazine, Riverkeeper , and Shirkin Comment .

Reviews 2

Library Journal Review

Lichatowich is a well-known fisheries biologist who has contributed extensively to the literature on salmonid populations during his 25-year career. His book offers a biologist's view of the salmon crisis in the Pacific Northwest, discussing the failure of restoration efforts, which have concentrated on returning salmon to the rivers without understanding the cause of the fish's decline. Two other works have recently covered this same subject: Freeman House's Totem Salmon: Life Lessons from Another Species (LJ 4/15/99) and Joseph E. Taylor III's Making Salmon: An Environmental History of the Northwest Fisheries Crisis (LJ 9/1/99). Totem Salmon is by far the easiest of the three to read, but Salmon Without Rivers and Making Salmon thoroughly address the complexity of the salmon crisis from both a biological and historical perspective. All three deserve a place in public and academic libraries. For a well-indexed, scholarly treatment of the problem, academic readers should also consider Upstream: Salmon and Society in the Pacific Northwest (National Academy Pr., 1996) for reference needs.ÄBarbara Butler, Oregon Inst. of Marine Biology, Charleston (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Choice Review

A common yet difficult question to answer in the world of fisheries management is "if we think we know why a particular fishery resource (or other natural resource) is declining, why can't we stop it?" Lichatowich gets to the heart of the global problem of overfishing with speed and clarity in the first chapter, where he describes the disconnect that he has observed during his 28-year career as a fishery biologist between the real world of the salmon's rivers and the abstract world of fisheries management. The cultural and economic importance of salmon in the Pacific Northwest is framed against the rugged geological background of the region and the amazing evolutionary history of salmon. Salmon-based economies survived for thousands of years until the area was rapidly transformed with the arrival of Europeans, with major ecological insults due to hydroelectric dams, followed by a false sense of security through the use of salmon hatcheries to enhance dwindling stocks. Fortunately, Lichatowich provides a critical perspective on salmon hatchery successes and failures, and his book of captivating stories provides a fascinating, readable, and chilling wake-up call to how humans have mismanaged their natural heritage. Upper-level high school students through professionals. D. B. Eggleston; North Carolina State University

Table of Contents

Chapter 1 Hooknose
Chapter 2 The Five Houses Of Salmon
Chapter 3 New Values For The Land And Water
Chapter 4 The Industrial Economy Enters The Northwest
Chapter 5 Free Wealth
Chapter 6 Cultivate The Waters
Chapter 7 The Winds Of Change
Chapter 8 A Story Of Two Rivers
Chapter 9 The Road To Extinction
Epilogue: Building A New Salmon Culture
Appendix A Classification Of Anadromous Forms Of Salmon
Appendix B Comparison Of The Life Histories Of Seven Species Of Pacific Salmon And Trout
Appendix C Geologic Epochs Mentioned In The Text