Sediment Grab Volunteer Callout

Volunteers needed at Natural Resources: September 11-14. 10AM- 2PM. LEKT Fisheries biologists are collecting sediment samples from the Elwha River estuary to understand the role of the benthic community to support salmon diet. Volunteers are needed to help sort sediment samples & identify critters. Come help us learn what’s hiding in the mud! Sediment Grabs Volunteer Callout (PDF)

Salmon Streams Are Closer Than You Think

LEKT Natural Resources Fisheries staff climb over the guardrail along highway 101 above the culvert that allows Tumwater Creek to flow beneath it to the Strait of Juan de Fuca. The creek is nearly invisible from the road and they make their way down the steep banks to the narrow drainage, dropping gear on a cobble bar in the middle of a cool, clear and densely vegetated corner of the creek. The pristine nature of Tumwater Creek’s reach below Highway 101 is surprising, given its close proximity to the congestion of the edge of town. The purpose of this field …READ MORE

Summer Youth in Natural Resources Share Their Experiences

Bridget Weed is in her second Summer working with the Wildlife team at Natural Resources and has spent most of her time helping maintain camera traps and analyze the photo data that is collected, but has also had the opportunity to join attempted cougar captures as a part of the Olympic Cougar Project. Bridget says that even when she’s not in the field, she really enjoys looking through the images at all of the different wildlife. “One time there was a picture of a bobcat looking directly into the camera! I get surprised by how much the animals are actually …READ MORE

Elementary school students participate in historic release year for the House of Salmon

I crouched down with my camera ready to capture the moment of release, but rather than the right out of the gate scene I expected, the fish remained still. Familiarity with their rearing environment and their schooling behavior both support the (somewhat anticlimactic) slow reaction of the smolts to realize their opportunity to enter into the lower Elwha River where they will begin their migration to the ocean. It would be several hours before the majority of the fish would leave, under the cover of darkness and after they had acclimated to the channel.     Since it began its …READ MORE

‘The Beautiful Undammed’ PBS documentary film now available for live streaming!

Ten years after the largest dam removal in history—on the Elwha River, in Washington State—scientists are chronicling an inspiring story of ecological rebirth. Recovering salmon populations are transferring critical nutrients from the ocean into the forests along the Elwha’s banks, enriching the entire ecosystem. The Elwha’s revival is encouraging advocates to push for the removal of many larger dams in the region, and in the rest of the world. This 30-minute documentary tells the story … The Beautiful Undammed | WILD HOPE | Nature | PBS

Monitoring Smolts: It’s All Downstream From Here

Each spring, when the creeks and rivers begin to swell again, Steelhead and Coho parr (young salmon between the stages of fry and smolt) are preparing to migrate. This process is known as smoltification, which is characterized by the development of the shiny, silvery scales that will externally distinguish them as so-called ‘smolts’ but also involves other complex physiological changes, such as increased salinity tolerance and olfactory imprinting, which are critical to their success in the oceanic phase of their life cycle. And all hands are on deck at Natural Resources to support the Fisheries team in monitoring these juvenile …READ MORE

Elwha River: Tributaries & Volunteers

Just West of the Elwha River, near the new bridge construction on Highway 101, I join Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe (LEKT) Natural Resources Department staff, Clallam Conservation District (CCD) organizers and local volunteers who are gathered around a trailer full of young plants. Recovering pre-dam salmon habitat in the Elwha valley goes beyond the Elwha River itself; it includes tributaries that provide water, sediments and organic material, as well as places for adults to spawn and their offspring to grow. The importance of Indian Creek for fish habitat has only been recently realized once again. “I had surveyed Indian Creek …READ MORE

Natural Resources Community Dinner

LEKT Natural Resources is hosting a community dinner event! April 25th 5PM at the LEKT Tribal Center Dining Hall. Join Natural Resources Staff for an evening of updates post dam removal, with special presentations about Fisheries, Wildlife and more. Natural Resources April 25th Dinner Event (PDF)