Chinook salmon are unique.
They are the largest, most preferred salmon among seafood lovers.
They are important to indigenous peoples economically and culturally.
But, unlike all other Pacific salmon species, Chinook are struggling. Will the favored solutions bring these iconic fish back, or merely cause more harm?
Is it possible that the most popular solutions proposed to recover Chinook salmon will fail if implemented? Most proposed solutions to Chinook recovery focus on habitat. Advocates seek to remove dams, convert farmland into large, inflexible stream buffers, and restrict or eliminate water access.
In this paper we will introduce science studies important to this discussion. It will show:
1) Why most salmon species are flourishing
2) The causes for Chinook decline and failing recovery efforts
3) The proposed solutions and their costs
4) Three example studies that point to real solutions
This paper is an overview and introduction to the range of science studies and reports presented in the Appendix. Cumulatively the studies point to the possibility of a great misdiagnosis. If there is a basic misunderstanding of the causes of Chinook decline, then the costly solutions will end in disappointment.