Calling All Salmon

Calling All Salmon

Mistaken Identity


The main reason salmon swim upstream is to spawn, and we all know what that means. You know, the male and female thing; she does this, and he does that. Yet the male is the one who is risking his life because once the eggs are fertilized, he dies shortly afterward. As young salmon hatch in their home stream, they become familiarized with the smell contained in the water. As they migrate downstream and into the ocean, they may even memorize certain scents along the way. After being away for many years, when they return to their birthplace as adults, they will use those smells to “test the waters” and find the stream with that recognized smell that leads them back home. If they swim up the wrong river, that familiar scent will fade and they will head back down to test another stream. In other words, we can’t say they were barking up the wrong tree; maybe more like they were navigating “up the wrong creek”.  

Some studies suggest that salmon use the earth’s magnetic field to guide their migration. This helps them travel long distances and understand where they’re headed. The intensity and inclination of the earth’s magnetic field help them to orient themselves. This trait, genetically inherited by salmon, means they don’t need to learn it from other fish —  my point being, that if salmon can persevere swimming against rough water, and ocean currents, and chase after elusive scents to preserve something near and dear to them, then we certainly can learn from their immense struggle. As far as their unreliability to learn from other fish, humans don’t need to learn from other people’s bad behavior, they should learn from our example and the high standards that we set for ourselves. 

By now you must be wondering why I used a picture of a shark. Please accept my apologies, but the only picture I could find of salmon swimming upstream cost forty dollars, so I went for the free picture of a shark. Just use your imagination and envision that it’s a very large salmon. Let’s get back to the fish story. Although the shark is an extremely terrifying fish, it has also been shown to carry high levels of toxic materials and wouldn’t be great for human consumption. On the other hand, salmon is very low in saturated fat, a good source of protein, and one of the best sources of vitamin B12. They both look more appealing dressed up on the grill, live in the water, and use their gills to filter oxygen from the water. Don’t ask why I’m telling you all of this, but I just thought you might like to know. 

Whichever way you choose to look at it, it still makes sense to be a small fish swimming against the current situation in life, as opposed to being a gigantic shark living in an ocean of toxic waste. Always remember that when life gets you down and you feel like you’re drowning, the rain must fall. It doesn’t matter one bit to a salmon or a shark. As long as they are submerged in water, they never have to be concerned about drowning.

I hope that you enjoyed my “whale of a story”.

Hey, why do Salmon only watch stuff online? Give up? Because they prefer streams! 🙂

Blessings to my superlatively large following of freshwater Salmons,

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  • Naomi

    What an enlightening analogy for nature and human society! Bravo! How much more I now want to be an example for my family and the world we live in. I try to fight the battles as best I can so that I ultimately will win the war. My take on the shark intrusion of this story is, that I would rather be a salmon!! I will be in tune with the scents I am familiar with and love. They will guide me to my destination. My standards are high, but realistic. We should always remember where we came from and how we got to where we are now. It has made us the person that we are! Blessings to all from a fish in the sea of life 🙏

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