World Salmon Council

“The World Salmon Council is poised to become a significant voice for promoting wild salmon conservation and healthy watersheds, and inspiring a life-long stewardship ethic in young people.”

— Joe Whitworth, President, The Freshwater Trust

“Sitting by the river and watching the salmon spawn inspired me to action more than any lecture, lesson or leaflet ever could have.”

–Sarah Chamberlain, Salmon Watch student alumna, Wilson High School (Portland)

“This experience really helped me to see my future. Now I know that I want to educate people, and hopefully pursue a career in helping to remove pollution from our water supplies.”  

 Maria Fuentes, Salmon Watch volunteer educator, Centennial High School (Portland)



Did You Know?

The oldest verified fossil for a freshwater version of the salmon is 50 million years old. Five to six million years ago salmon had fangs, weighed over 500 pounds, and were ten feet long. The modern Pacific Salmon emerged about two million years ago in the cold mountain streams of the Pacific Northwest.


Who We Are

World Salmon Council is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit environmental for-purpose organization. Our mission is to provide experiential education and encounters with Pacific wild salmon to connect students and adults with nature and empower community engagement.


Salmon Watch

Using salmon as the focal point, Salmon Watch provides comprehensive, multidisciplinary education in the classroom, field study and in-stream observation, and community service projects. It only costs $45 per student to give them the opportunity to experience firsthand in a meaningful way the wonders of the natural world. Help us get more kids into nature!

Latest Blog Posts

Volunteer Spotlight: Riparian Reflections with Alex Whistler

Alex Whistler is a retired forester with the Bureau of Indian Affairs. In fall 2016, he was a star Salmon Watch Volunteer Educator, teaching on a total of six field trips in the Riparian Zone Observation field station.

Why did you first get involved in Salmon Watch?

I started participating in Salmon Watch because years ago, a mentor of mine thought it was important for folks with Native American heritage to get involved in our local communities. I’m a member of the Sac & Fox tribe and my mother was Choctaw. My mentor convinced me it was important to do something with education and kids.

Can you elaborate on why your mentor thought it was important to get involved in environmental education in particular?

Native youth living in urban environments and urban kids, period, just don’t get out in the woods enough. My mentor grew up on a reservation that was fortunate to have 4-H programs available. 4-H is a rural organization that has programs on forestry, bees, wildlife, soil, etc. He said his early involvement in 4-H was enlightening because once you learn the science behind what’s going on in the soil or why bees are important, then you might want to come back to that field for a career. Kids need to know their options. They need to know there are more options available than playing basketball or being a rock star.

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Salmon Watch Project: Madison High School

Salmon Watch Projects are an opportunity for students to put their learning into action and give back to their watersheds and communities.

Each year, Salmon Watch students engage in an eclectic mix of projects: from restoration projects like Hudson’s Bay High School’s Earth Day riparian tree planting, to art installations, to research projects.

This past school year, Sue House’s Environmental Science class at Madison High School conducted a semester-long research project examining environmental health at the nearby Dharma Rain Zen Center campus.

Dharma Rain’s new campus is located on 14 acres of a former landfill in a low-income neighborhood in NE Portland. The Center purchased the site in 2012, and has been working on restoration projects since. With partners, they have installed stormwater management and methane mitigation systems, removed invasive species and planted natives, improved soil, and planted a community garden and fruit orchard.

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Salmon Watch Project: Hudson’s Bay High School

This Earth Day 2017, Steven Jones’ biology and environmental science students at Hudson’s Bay High School had the chance to give back to their community and watershed by helping to rebuild the riparian area around Salmon Creek in Vancouver, WA.

On a drizzly Saturday morning, they ventured out to Salmon Creek Greenway and planted a variety of native trees as part of Clark Public Utilities’ Annual StreamTeam Earth Day Fest.

Tommy Miller, a StreamTeam volunteer for five years, explained, “As trees grow, they provide a number of things. Shade is one of the first and foremost. They act as filters for water quality. And as they grow up and age out and end up falling over and dying, they provide wood and nutrients to the stream. All those three things are very important to salmon.”

Steven Jones’ high school students had the opportunity to learn about the importance of healthy riparian areas on their Salmon Watch field trip to Daybreak Park in October 2016. One of the four Salmon Watch stations is Riparian Zone Observation. In this station, students learn to observe the riparian area and look for clues regarding stream health. The presence of shade trees to keep water cool for salmon is one of the key features of a healthy riparian area.

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