My camera lens is pressed against the window of the small floatplane as it flies below a thick ceiling of clouds. The mist clings to the hillsides of a temperate rainforest that descend steeply to the rocky coastline of southeast Alaska.
The plane banks, and a tiny village comes into view. A scattering of houses are built on stilts on the water’s edge. We circle and I see fishing boats tied up next to a large dock and a floating post office. The pilot throttles down and the pontoons skim across the glassy water inside the bay. We taxi to the public dock and I step out in front of the Point Baker general store.
their numbers have significantly decreased.
down rivers and into the ocean. Depending on the species, salmon may spend between about one and seven years in the ocean before beginning their journey home to the freshwater where they were born.
The ability of salmon to find their way home is one of nature’s greatest miracles. Among other navigational aids, salmon can detect a single drop of water from its home stream mixed in 250 gallons of saltwater.
Once salmon enter their native watershed, some spawn immediately and others travel a thousand miles or more upriver. Soon after reproducing, they die and decompose.