The Human Salmon Foundation is so named because the human life cycle resembles the upstream journey of a salmon. The salmon life cycle starts with an egg, laid in a redd and develops through stages that are referred to as alevin, parr, smolt and finally the mature salmon when it returns upstream to its birthplace to spawn.

These stages resemble the stages of the human life cycle as it develops from an embryo to a mature person, a process that might include overcoming several obstacles. The salmon’s journey also emphasizes the importance of a caring environment and a sound, values-based education during the early years of human life.