If you live on the west coast, kiss your favorite salmon goodbye. You probably won't be eating it this year. And nobody knows what'll happen next year.
Salmon doom and gloom strikes California and Oregon, and threatens Washington. And don't get too giddy, Alaska, because you could be next. It's happened before in Alaska, and it can happen again.
For the first time, we're facing a total closure of salmon fishing off California and Oregon. Washington may escape the ax for now, but that doesn't mean everything is fine here.
Does this matter? Are salmon important? Yes, salmon are a symbol of what many of us like best about the northwest. They're a common cultural icon (see photo at left), and an economic power in the northwest. The health of slamon is also a good measure of the health of our natural ecosystems, since salmon need healthy rivers, creeks, watersheds, and oceans.
What comes next? Angst and pain, and maybe a renewed commitment to right the wrongs caused by a century of salmon abuse. One can always hope.