This is a photograph of a bay where salmon come each year to feed. A volunteer group counts the salmon to learn more about their habits and numbers and will, after many years of data gathering, notice trends. What trend should we expect?

Western Washington may close all of its salmon fisheries in 2016, due to expected low returns.

“We face an extraordinary conservation challenge this year. In many instances returns will likely be far below minimum levels needed to produce the next generation of salmon. Conservation must be our sole focus as we work to rebuild these stocks.” — Lorraine Loomis, chair of the Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission

As I look out over this bay waiting for the perfect moment to press the shutter button on my camera, I contemplate the loss of our salmon. Without salmon we have no bears. Without salmon we have no healthy forests. Without salmon we lose our native culture and our link to history. Without salmon, who are we, here in the PNW?