Adult Chinook (king) salmon were spotted in Olympic National Park for the first time late last month.
These are the first salmon to naturally migrate into the park since the Elwha Dam became operational back in 1913. The dam was removed as a part of the Elwha River Restoration project less than five months ago.
Chinook salmon, like all salmon, are born in freshwater streams, migrate to the marine environment for the majority of the lifespan and then migrate back to their original stream to mate. They are also referred to as King salmon because they are the largest salmon sepcies–adults often exceed 40 pounds.
“Observation of these Chinook in Olympic National Park is a wonderful addition to the naturally returning steelhead recently observed by NOAA Fisheries and Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe downstream of the park boundary,” said Olympic National Park Fisheries Biologist, Sam Brenkman. “We can now say that restoration of anadromous salmon in Olympic National Park is underway.”
Copyright © 2012 by Marine Science Today, a publication of Marine Science Today LLC.