Lets Dive underwater together and live the Life of a Northwest Salmon.
Hatching as one of 4000 eggs, you struggle to keep up with over 400 of your bother and sister fry. Life seams difficult, but we soon find warm pools to eat and grow into healthy smolt. Over time you learn to chase little bugs and terrestrial insects. Life in the stream feeds you the proper nutrition in order to gain strength for the quest ahead.
Depending on which type of Salmon you are, it can take you up to two years to be ready for the journey into bigger waters. It’s a strong magnetic nudge and the environmental cues that pulls you towards the sea. Along the way you face many obstacles such as; water falls, nets, hooks, birds and river predators. You have learned that keeping close to your brothers and sisters along with the many other neighbor salmon is what’s keeping you alive.
The taste of salt fills your senses and the Pacific Ocean turns into a giant all you can eat buffet. You will spend up to seven years in this buffet and learn to become selective on the food you eat. After all, you have a huge menu to choose from, such as other little fish, squid, eels and shrimp, but if your a Sockeye, your diet consist almost entirely of plankton. Life in the ocean seams awesome! Your getting stronger and smarter. With this growth comes other large predators and you learn to master the art of listening to all your senses.
Although you have ears, they don’t work very well.Through your lateral line, You can detect vibrations in the water from upwards of 100 feet and your eyes are perfectly shaped to give you the ultimate panoramic vision. You also have learned to adjust the light-sensitive pigments in your eyes as you age and move to deeper waters. Your eyes can then turn into high powered night vision goggles. Your sense of smell is a thousand times stronger then a dogs and allows you to smell your food from miles away. These sense have become the key to your survival!
Over the years you have learned so many awesome things. You have learned to work as a team to stay alive and use your little fish brains to create massive wheel cylinders to confuse other fish, which knock off their equilibrium, so you can capture more prey.
The fun is about over and you now feel that magnetic pull of your birth place calling you back to become a father or mother.
You will now travel some 900 miles and climb nearly 7,000 feet from the Pacific Ocean as you return to the northwest to spawn. All you can think about is getting home, food doesn’t seem to be on your mind but out of habit you may eat a few things along the way. You have become very territorial because the enormous ocean has turned back into tight freshwater rivers. You are now in competition and will strick at other little fish and insects to get them out of your way. You finally make it home and can add value and life to the water.
On your way up to your spawning ground you notice a very shiny, irritating leech in the water and its making you angry so you chase after it and strike. At once you feel a sharp pain in your lip as your head is whipped sideways. You feel as if you have lost control. You swim as hard as you can, fighting, not knowing what has control of you. You finally run out of steam and your pulled closer and closer to the shore. You notice a really creepy creature holding some kind of stick. This creature then grabs the irritating leech out of your mouth and you now swim free back towards deeper water…