Largest chinook run in decades on the Elwha River

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Chinook salmon swimming upstream.

Remove a few dams, wait for the turbidity to settle, and whiz-bang! KOMO and other sources are reporting the best Chinook salmon run on the newly re-wilded Elwha in decades [my bold]:

During a one-day survey in September, biologists counted 1,741 adult Chinook and mapped 763 reds between the remnants of the Glines Canyon Dam and the river mouth. About 75 percent of those were spotted upstream of the former Elwha Dam site, park officials said.

The biologists navigated over 13 miles of the Elwha River and tributaries, walking and snorkeling to find living and dead salmon along the river from Glines Canyon Dam to the river mouth. They also surveyed lower portions of three river tributaries, including Indian Creek, Hughes Creek, and Little River.

Results from the survey indicate this year’s Chinook return is one of the strongest since 1992, according to park officials.

More good news for the Earth, the state, and the Elwha-Klallam people.


3 thoughts on “Largest chinook run in decades on the Elwha River

    Gnossos said:
    November 19, 2013 at 7:46 AM


    Barbra & Jack Donachy said:
    November 19, 2013 at 5:26 PM

    Good news!

      wes responded:
      November 19, 2013 at 7:38 PM

      Isn’t it? I’d been a little dismayed with the effects of the turbidity on some early efforts to release hatchlings, but undoing man’s effects on the river only begins with dynamiting the dams. In time these crystalline waters will be the familiar breath of home for millions more salmon as they pass into the Strait. The food security this represents for the Lower Elwha-Klallam people is enormous. Good news indeed!

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