Blog: Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe holds ceremony for First Salmon

"With song and ceremony, the Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe this week honored the first chinook salmon caught below Elwha Dam this year by tribal fishermen. Just five chinook salmon in all, this small catch nonetheless had big symbolism: it's the tribe's last chinook harvest before two dams on the Elwha start coming down next month in the largest dam removal project ever, anywhere.

Last year saw a record low run of chinook return to the Elwha River. The five chinook caught and honored in the First Salmon ceremony Monday are from a remnant of the once mighty run of kings on this river, the largest fish of their kind in Puget Sound.

The fish will be cut into pieces and gifted to the tribe's approximately 70 elders said Lower Elwha Kallam tribal member Rachel Hagaman, who helped lead the ceremony by banks of the Elwha.

As a thick marine fog ghosted over the river, Hagaman and her sister Lola Moses wove a raft of cedar bows atop a folding table set up on the banks."

Get the Story:
Honoring first salmon caught below Elwha dam - for the last time (The Seattle Times 8/19)

Related Stories:
OPB: Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe keeps an eye on health of rivers (8/17)
Opinion: Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe could hurt salmon recovery (8/3)
Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe welcomes dam removal for salmon (7/29)

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