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Salmon Safe is improving the health of our watersheds. Let’s spread the word about this vital cause that your brewery helps support!


“Salmon is the canary in the coal mine. It’s the indicator of how healthy a watershed is,” states David Burger, Salmon-Safe Partner.

Founded in 1997 by river and native fish protection organization Pacific Rivers, Salmon-Safe’s mission is to transform management practices so Pacific salmon can thrive in West Coast watersheds. This effort is vital, when you consider the fact that wild salmon are in decline globally with just 10% of native fish returning to West Coast watersheds compared to their historic abundance.

The Pacific Northwest is home to most of the last wild salmon in the continental US. It’s also where most US hops are grown along the Yakima and Willamette River watersheds.

According to Salmon Safe Co-Founder, Dan Kent, 80% of the pollution in the Willamette River comes from non-point source runoff—which means it comes from agricultural fields or city streets. To date, Kent says there isn’t data to show what percentage to attribute to each source, “but we know the agricultural impacts can be profound.”

“For Salmon-Safe, this campaign led by Indie Hops has the potential to help accelerate a shift by craft brewers towards certified hops and malts grown by farmers working to protect Pacific Northwest rivers and wildlife.”

- Dan Kent, Co-Founder & Executive Director, Salmon-Safe


Salmon Safe’s mission resonated with Gayle Goschie, third generation hop grower and one of our original farm partners. Goschie Farms was the first hop farm to achieve Salmon-Safe certification. This inspired us to encourage other growers to do the same. Many other hop farms have followed suit including our largest grower and long-time partner Coleman Agriculture, and one of our newest growers Sodbuster Farms. Roy Farms and Crosby Hop Farms—both certified growers and sellers of Indie Hops variety Strata—are also Salmon-Safe certified.

Salmon-Safe certification requires rigorous third party assessment based on peer-reviewed standards, and key elements include:

  • phasing out pesticides that are harmful to fish and wildlife
  • restoring stream buffers
  • reducing irrigation water use
  • enhancing biodiversity through ecological set asides or native pollinator-friendly plantings
  • ensuring that there is no runoff or erosion from farms

Salmon-Safe is “whole farm” certification so large farms must transition an entire operation to Salmon-Safe practices in order to certify a crop like hops. This magnifies Salmon-Safe’s impact across the landscape.

Salmon-Safe: Save wild salmon

Watch the Video

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Learn more about why Salmon Safe is important through this impactful video that features hop grower, Gayle Goschie.

By sourcing certified Salmon-Safe hops from us, your brewery is helping conserve local farm streams and wildlife which has a broad impact on the greater ecosystem. Your brewery can further help the effort by spreading the word.

Please reach out if you’re interested in utilizing the Salmon Safe logo or a Salmon Safe QR code in your communications.