Washington’s salmon memes make the internet laugh: ‘Lay eggs and die’

Most fish swim. salmon run. And according to the Washington State Department of Natural Resources’ official Twitter account, they make perfect meme material, too.

On October 5th, @waDNR tweeted a simple, tongue-in-cheek poster of encouragement to all spawning salmon across the state.

“Live, laugh, lay eggs and die,” it reads scrawled in matching pink lettering.

With more than 15,000 retweets and 92,000 likes, the poster quickly went viral, prompting multiple follow-ups from the DNR and a sea of ​​celebratory reactions.

A second meme, aptly titled “Live Your Salmon Purpose,” features a variety of recommendations, from swimming 1,500 miles to surviving Fat Bear Week.

In a separate follow-up to the original poster, the DNR provided additional context for the inspirational messages.

“Bad news: Pacific salmon are actually dying after their long journey upriver to reproduce,” it says. “Good news: more than 150 species depend on the migration and death of salmon for their own livelihoods.

“Even young salmon feed on the carcasses,” it said. “Thanks, Mom and Dad…?”

During the summer and fall in northern California, Oregon, and Washington, numerous species of Pacific salmon migrate upstream from the oceans to freshwater environments where they spawn, and both males and females die soon thereafter.

The annual migration of Pacific salmon is a crucial process for the fish and the hundreds of species that depend on them for food.

Today, however, 14 species of salmon and steelhead are threatened with extinction under the Endangered Species Act.

Warming water and other environmental problems resulting from climate change have put several salmon populations at risk. And according to Ray Hilborn, a professor in the University of Washington’s School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences, it’s a trend that’s going on for decades.

“In general, things have gotten worse in the lower 48s … since the 1980s,” Hilborn said news week. “This is mainly due to the climate [and] environmental changes.

Salmon jumps out of the water
A Chinook salmon leaps through whitewater May 17, 2001.
Bill Schaefer/Getty Images

Noting that certain populations in Alaska are actually getting better, Hilborn said that despite declines in the lower 48 states, the North Pacific now contains more salmon than at any time in history.

“Some of them [is] due to hatcheries in Alaska and Russia,” Hilborn explained. “But mostly from wild stocks in Alaska and Russia that are doing well.”

To specifically address endangered salmon populations in their state, the Washington State Department of Natural Resources created WatershedConnect “to identify and implement high-impact projects that contribute to salmon recovery.”

Also influential is the Washington State Department of Natural Resources Twitter account, which went viral earlier this year with two posts on fire safety and proper hydration.

In response to the series of tweets about this year’s Pacific salmon migration, many Twitter users couldn’t help but smile while applauding the social media department staff.

“I really need to know who is running the communications of WADNR these days,” posted @amy_prof. “Really, really great.”

“Someone at Washington State DNR really deserves a raise,” added @s_sedwards.

“Social media person deserves a raise,” repeated @Katherine__13_ more simply.

Separately, Twitter user @slugcrag offered Washington state some encouragement of her own.

“Never let anyone tell you you’re not awesome Washington,” they wrote.

news week has reached out to the Washington State Department of Natural Resources for comment.

https://www.newsweek.com/washingtons-salmon-memes-have-internet-laughing-lay-eggs-die-1750084 Washington’s salmon memes make the internet laugh: ‘Lay eggs and die’

Rick Schindler

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