Are there any publicly available models that show you how to accurately predict the salmon run in both the Pacific and Atlantic oceans?

This has been such a long interest of mine, I often see the results of this study, but I have never seen the methodology used for prediction.

  • $\begingroup$ I see how this could be related to the physical environment, but I think you might have more luck on biology.SE. If it turns out to depend on, say, ocean temperature, then that would be a good thing to ask about here. By all means see how your question is received here first. $\endgroup$
    – Matt Hall
    Commented Sep 18, 2015 at 15:21

1 Answer 1


You can use a program called Stella (which costs money) but there is also a free program that does nearly the same thing called Vensim. These software packages allow you to build simple dynamic models using a GUI interface.

The materials (including salmon run scenario model files) for Andy Ford's "Modeling the Environment" class, which he taught for many years, are here: http://public.wsu.edu/~forda/models.html with the "Smolts Migration Model" and "Salmon Harvest Simulator" prebuilt.

His text can be obtained online, the title is "Modeling the Environment: An Introduction To System Dynamics Modeling Of Environmental Systems"

Andrew Ford is Professor of Environmental Science and Regional Planning at Washington State University. He teaches modeling with an emphasis on environmental problems in the west, and he is the author of the Island Press text on Modeling the Environment. He uses the system dynamics approach to modeling, and he is the recipient of the Jay W. Forrester Award for the outstanding contribution to the field of system dynamics.

  • $\begingroup$ Oops, so they are not available in a more conventional language, like R or Python? $\endgroup$
    – Victor
    Commented Sep 21, 2015 at 15:27
  • $\begingroup$ It would be trivial to convert a vensim model to R or python, as they are usually based on very simple relationships and a differential solver. The nice part about the GUI is that you can do what is called "gaming" by setting the parameters to various scenarios and see automatic graphic output. $\endgroup$
    – f.thorpe
    Commented Oct 3, 2015 at 2:37

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