Ecosystem Interdependence: Managing Salmon for Healthy Forests

Lesson plan with video, grades 6–12



In this lesson plan, students address the impact of unsustainable fishing practices. Salmon runs are an important factor in cycling several nutrients. Overfishing salmon reduces the forest’s capacity for growth and regeneration. Students explore the connection between the size of salmon runs and forest health. First, they test a population model to estimate a sustainable salmon harvest. Second, they simulate variation in nutrient input by comparing growth of plants given inputs of different concentrations of fish-based fertilizer with a control.


Lesson Plan


water, food, fish, salmon, watershed, keystone species, trees, nutrient cycle

Published November 2013, updated July 2016