From NatGeo News Watch, by Allen Carroll:
For thousands of years, a migration of majestic proportions has played out annually in the wild rivers of the northwestern United States. Sockeye and steelhead salmon return to the rivers in which they were born, swimming upstream for hundreds of miles against ferocious currents in order to spawn and die. To reach their spawning grounds, fish populations of the Snake River navigate more than 900 miles, ascending an astonishing 6,500 vertical feet--the highest climb of any salmon population.
The Snake River's salmon spawn in the high, clear waters of one of the largest and most intact wild areas of the coterminous United States. Their annual arrival is not only the climax of their remarkable life cycle; it also represents a huge influx of nutrients to the ecosystems of central Idaho, northeastern Oregon, and southeastern Washington. Dozens of species, including bears, wolves, eagles, ospreys--and humans--benefit from this unlikely delivery, courtesy of Mother Nature, of fresh seafood to inland North America.
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