KLCC: Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe restoring salmon at hatchery

"How do you restore a river that’s been dammed for almost 100 years?

The Elwha River, which runs from the Olympic Mountains to the Strait of Juan de Fuca at the mouth of Puget Sound, has seen declining numbers of wild salmon since the first of its two dams went up in 1913.

Fish hatcheries have been used to supplement those populations of Coho, steelhead and chum salmon, but as the dams are removed, the role humans will play in restoring fish to the Elwha is unclear.

Ashley Ahearn headed to the Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe’s hatchery to learn more.

Larry Ward stands on the banks of a gravel-lined channel two miles from the mouth of the Elwha River. He’s the head of the Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe’s new hatchery – which was finished last May.

Larry Ward: “This will be the point at which adults returning from the river will enter into the hatchery and where fish produced and reared at the hatchery leave and first enter into the Elwha river.”

We walk a couple hundred yards from the river to the hatchery where long concrete troughs hold thousands of juvenile coho salmon, their dappled bodies flickering in the sun."

Get the Story:
Un-Damming The Elwha Part 3 (KLCC 8/24)

Related Stories:
Blog: Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe holds ceremony for First Salmon (8/22)
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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