I’ve thought about writing a modified version of the Pete Seeger song, “Where Have All the Flowers Gone,” and change it to focus on salmon, the beautiful, tasty fish that I spent several summers commercial salmon fishing for with my dad when i was a teenager on the Oregon Coast. Back then, it seems like there was an endless supply. In my newest novel, Chickamin Bay, I write about a $1,000-dollar day (spoiler alert!), a day that Jack Richards and his father, Lefty, set the record for most money made fishing in a single day.
Slowly but steadily, the amount of salmon caught has been reduced, by overfishing, pollution, and global warming. Today, it is a shadow of what it once was. In the great Columbia River, fisheries biologists report that over a quarter million Sockeye salmon have died due to warming waters. Biologists say that a salmon can lay 3000 eggs. Only about 15 percent hatch and of those, about 30 live through the first year, four make it to adulthood, and two live long enough to spawn. You mathematicians can calculate how many salmon have to lay how many eggs to reach 250,000 dead fish.
Obviously, it isn’t only salmon that are suffering from global warming. Virtually every animal species is too, including you, my friend. Do your part to overcome this dire issue. If you don’t believe in global warming, will it really hurt to do your part by investing in solar panels, an electric vehicle, or switching to CFL light bulbs? In fact, you’ll save money at the same time.
I’ve tried in all my works of fiction–The Ages of Oosig, With Which the Waters Swarm, Lefty’s Tavernacle, and now Chickmain Bay–to drop gentle hints about the negative effects of pollution and global warming. Perhaps the next one will have to be a little more forceful.