The long journey of salmon along the West Coast of the United States

Salmon travel up the west coast of the United States for their survival and reproduction

by Lorenzo Ciotti
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The long journey of salmon along the West Coast of the United States
© Bill Schaefer / Stringer Getty Images Sport

Salmon are considered incredible migrants, traveling enormous distances to reach their spawning grounds. One of the most surprising examples of this extraordinary migratory capacity occurs along the west coast of the United States.

In this article we will explore the journey of salmon along the coast and focus on the dangers of biological contamination that threaten them along the way. The salmon that travel up the west coast of the United States undertake an essential journey for their survival and reproduction.

These fish migrate from their feeding grounds in the North Pacific Ocean to rivers and tributaries that flow along the coast, such as the Columbia River and the Sacramento River. This migration can take from several weeks to several months, during which the salmon move hundreds of kilometers, facing challenges and dangers that test their endurance.

During their migration, salmon face numerous obstacles. Rivers can have rapids, waterfalls and artificial dams that prevent salmon from moving forward easily. To overcome these obstacles, many salmon jump or cross rapids or use fish ladders, man-made structures that allow them to cross dams.

The strength and skill needed to meet these challenges are remarkable, and only the strongest salmon make it to their spawning destinations. During their journey, salmon are also exposed to the risk of biological contamination which can endanger their health and the very survival of the species.

Pollution of rivers, caused by industrial, agricultural and human activities, can have devastating effects on salmon. Toxic chemicals, such as heavy metals and pesticides, can accumulate in fish tissues and compromise their immune systems, affect their reproductive ability and increase susceptibility to disease.

Furthermore, overpopulation of salmon, caused by factors such as rising water temperatures and reduced food resources, can encourage the spread of diseases and parasites among fish. These diseases can be transmitted through physical contact or contaminated water, putting the entire West Coast salmon population at risk.

The migration of salmon along the West Coast of the United States is an extraordinary event that represents a true feat of resistance and adaptability. However, the salmon journey is threatened by numerous dangers, including biological contamination which can compromise the very survival of this precious fish species.

It is essential to take protection and conservation measures to preserve salmon habitat and reduce biological contamination. Joint efforts between government authorities, environmental organizations and local communities can help keep salmon populations intact and ensure that their long journey along the West Coast of the United States can continue for many years to come.