Science: School for Salmon

Since Bonneville Dam was built in 1937, the great Chinook salmon, far & away the handsomest and most valuable fish in North America, has been fighting a game but losing battle for survival. As every schoolboy knows, the salmon lives under a mysterious compulsion: it must go back to its birthplace to spawn. The spawning grounds of the seagoing Chinook, which once supplied a tasty 17,000 tons a year to U.S. tables, are in the Columbia River's cool, green tributaries far up in the northwest mountains.

With the help of man-made ladders and elevators,...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!