Declines in animal body sizes are widely reported and likely impact ecological interactions and ecosystem services. For harvested species subject to multiple stressors, limited understanding of the causes and consequences of size declines impedes prediction, prevention, and mitigation. We highlight widespread declines in Pacific salmon size based on 60 years of measurements from 12.5 million fish across Alaska, the last largely pristine North American salmon-producing region. Declines in salmon size, primarily resulting from shifting age structure, are associated with climate and competition at sea. Compared to salmon maturing before 1990, the reduced size of adult salmon after 2010 has potentially resulted in substantial losses to ecosystems and people; for Chinook salmon we estimated average per-fish reductions in egg production (-16%), nutrient transport (-28%), fisheries value (-21%), and meals for rural people (-26%). Downsizing of organisms is a global concern, and current trends may pose substantial risks for nature and people.