Bruce Brown combines a first-person account of his treks through the Olympic peninsula with a carefully documented history of the efforts to control the rivers of the area and regulate its salmon population. It’s a sorry tale of greed, corruption, governmental mismanagement and indifference that has resulted in the virtual destruction of the once abundant wild salmon. Timber, power and commercial fishing companies have wreaked havoc on the Olympic wilderness, often with the connivance of the governmental agencies charged with protecting the interests of the local Amerindians, sport fisherman and, especially, the various species of salmon. The much-touted hatchery programs have failed to fulfill the promises of their publicists, and the size and numbers of salmon have steadily dwindled. Brown emphasizes the need to fight for the protection of the remaining wild salmon in an exemplary (if depressing) example of investigative reporting and environmental writing.