Washington – Alaska Salmon Learning Exchange

Nautilus staff recently organized the first Washington Alaska Salmon Learning Exchange, which brought together salmon leaders from both states to share salmon stories and efforts to ensure healthy salmon and people systems persist throughout the Pacific Northwest and Alaska.

The goal of the four-day driving tour was to learn from the experiences of the many people working to restore depleted salmon populations in Washington and share our work to strengthen Alaska’s salmon and salmon-dependent communities through one of Nautilus’ main partnership efforts—the Salmon Connect network.

We asked our Pacific NW colleagues:

  • What would you do differently to avoid loss of connections between salmon and people?
  • What are you doing to restore/improve the resilience of connections between salmon and people?
  • What emerging lessons from your collective efforts might offer promise to Alaska?
  • What might we do together to alter the trajectory of Pacific salmon


The Alaska contingent represented many of the state’s diverse salmon-dependent communities and included commercial and subsistence fishermen, tribal policy experts, elected community representatives and others, all of whom are committed to preserving wild salmon and salmon communities in Alaska.


After logging and hydroelectric development led to sedimentation and flooding issues, native flora and fauna are returning to Hood Canal thanks to restoration efforts by the Skokomish Tribe.


At the WA Dept. of Fish and Game, we learned from fellow Salmon and People partners that WA has a comprehensive set of data systems being built to inform management; data are all online and accessible here.


The nonprofit organization Long Live the Kings is leading steelhead recovery by developing and sharing innovative rearing techniques. Nine years in, the number of steelhead returning has doubled in Hood Canal.


Our Tulalip Tribe host Terry Williams (Natural Resources Commissioner, center front) explained the tribe’s key role in helping to coordinate >14 federal agencies in Puget Sound area on habitat issues related to climate changes and human population growth.


Nautilus principal Ian Dutton with Kacey Hopson and Andrea Sanders of First Alaskans Institute, and Salmon Fellow Brooke Wright on the Kingston Ferry.

Salmon Connect seeks to connect people through networking and dialogue and to identify and incubate collaborative projects for enduring and sustainable wild salmon systems in Alaska.  Salmon Connect is a collaborative effort of individuals and organizations involved in community engagement, education, and equity, with a goal to elevate collective responsibility, equitable human relationships, and the important role of indigenous peoples as core to healthy wild salmon systems. Learn more at AlaskaSalmonandPeople and Alaska Salmon Fellows.