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UPY 2018 Up & Coming - Third
'Migration' - Austin Ferguson
Every year in the Pacific Northwest of North America, wild Pacific Salmon make an epic migration from the ocean up the same rivers and streams that they were born in, sometimes traveling over a thousand miles inland to reproduce. Salmon are a keystone species in the Pacific Northwest as much of the surrounding flora and fauna depend on them for survival. However, Pacific Salmon are in a precipitous decline due to overfishing, dams, salmon farming and deforestation. This image is part of a series highlighting the decline of Pacific Salmon, their vital role in the ecosystem, and the need to protect them. Over the course of three months, I spent countless hours in 13°C water photographing this incredible migration. Eventually, my patience paid off when I captured this image of a male Pink Salmon fighting his way back upstream to continue his species and nurture the surrounding ecosystem.
Judge's comment: Austin's is a fabulous wildlife image, the bubbles communicate the vicious flow of the river, that this male salmon has fought against to reach his spawning grounds.
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