Searching for Wild Salmon, from River to Table
On Sale: May 30, 2017
Hardcover / e-Book
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Non-Fiction | Non-Fiction Pet-Lover | Non-Fiction Cooking / Food
From the award-winning author of The Mushroom
Hunters comes the story of an iconic fish, perhaps the
last great wild food: salmon.
For some, a salmon evokes the distant wild, thrashing in the
jaws of a hungry grizzly bear on TV. For others, it’s the
catch of the day on a restaurant menu, or a deep red fillet
at the market. For others still, it’s the jolt of adrenaline
on a successful fishing trip. Our fascination with these
superlative fish is as old as humanity itself. Long a source
of sustenance among native peoples, salmon is now more
popular than ever. Fish hatcheries and farms serve modern
appetites with a domesticated “product”—while wild runs of
salmon dwindle across the globe. How has this once-abundant
resource reached this point, and what can we do to safeguard
wild populations for future generations?
Langdon Cook goes in search of the salmon in
Upstream, his timely and in-depth look at how these
beloved fish have nourished humankind through the ages and
why their destiny is so closely tied to our own. Cook
journeys up and down salmon country, from the glacial rivers
of Alaska to the rainforests of the Pacific Northwest to
California’s drought-stricken Central Valley and a wealth of
places in between. Reporting from remote coastlines and busy
city streets, he follows today’s commercial pipeline from
fisherman’s net to corporate seafood vendor to boutique
marketplace. At stake is nothing less than an ancient
But salmon are more than food. They are game fish, wildlife
spectacle, sacred totem, and inspiration—and their fate is
largely in our hands. Cook introduces us to tribal fishermen
handing down an age-old tradition, sport anglers seeking
adventure and a renewed connection to the wild, and
scientists and activists working tirelessly to restore
salmon runs. In sharing their stories, Cook covers all sides
of the debate: the legacy of overfishing and industrial
development; the conflicts between fishermen,
environmentalists, and Native Americans; the modern
proliferation of fish hatcheries and farms; and the
longstanding battle lines of science versus politics,
wilderness versus civilization.
This firsthand account—reminiscent of the work of John
McPhee and Mark Kurlansky—is filled with the keen insights
and observations of the best narrative writing. Cook offers
an absorbing portrait of a remarkable fish and the many
obstacles it faces, while taking readers on a fast-paced
fishing trip through salmon country. Upstream is an
essential look at the intersection of man, food, and nature.
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