DNA extractionOrganized in 2015, Citizen Salmon is a community of curious citizen scientists who are interested in understanding the origins of the salmon we find in our markets and restaurants. Why? Salmon are vital to Cascadia! They are a staple of our diet, a key export, and a cultural icon of the Pacific Northwest region.

We conduct most of our lab work at SoundBio, a DIY biology lab located in Seattle, Washington.

Citizen Salmon has two major components:

  1.  Bioinformatics: Identifying the most informative genes by manipulating large amounts of Salmon data provided in previous papers.
  2.  Lab techniques: Developing quick and cost-effective protocols to extract salmon DNA and genotype samples.


Our Mission

We recognize the importance of acquiring knowledge about our food for the sake of ecological health. Tracking specific bioindicator species is a technique used to assess the status of a select ecosystem or measure the quality of a particular environment. King Salmon (or Chinook) is a bioindicator species heavily impacted by human activity¹. Several salmon species have supported large commercial and tribal subsistence harvests here in the Pacific Northwest, and all are highly valued².

By accomplishing our goals of 1) identifying the origin of 50 King Salmon populations, 2) developing a database of salmon genotypes, and 3) creating a “DIY genotyping kit” to determine the origin of salmon on our dinner plates, we can use citizen science to further advance public understanding of salmon populations, and recovery efforts.