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)

Student Volunteers Collect Water Temperature Data

Long-term Elwha River Temperature Monitoring Depends on Enduring Partnerships Text and photos by: Chelsea Behymer & Sarah Morley On a soggy Saturday morning in January, a group of Environmental Science and Civil Engineering undergraduate students from Seattle University are greeted by NOAA research ecologist Sarah Morley at the Olympic National Park boundary gate adjacent to the Elwha River. The parking lot where they are gathered is the furthest point that can be driven upriver since the Olympic Hot Springs access road began flooding in 2015 and eventually gave way to the river’s reclamation of its historic channels. From there, the …READ MORE

From the Field: A Day with the Wildlife Team

Text & photos by: Chelsea Behymer, Science Outreach Coordinator Wildlife camera images courtesy of: LEKT, NPS, USGS The novel and the rare are precious, invigorating things. During our lunch break, we savor the sunshine that envelops an emergent meadow on the floodplain of the Elwha River even more than our food on a crisp, clear Winter day. I’ve just helped Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe (LEKT) Natural Resources Department wildlife biologist Sara Cendejas-Zarelli install camera traps on a well-established American Beaver dam that her team had first observed the previous Summer. She had brought the extra cameras along as a potential …READ MORE

Natural Resources Planting Events!

If you have any questions or concerns about gear or transportation, please email Science Outreach Coordinator, Chelsea or come and say hello at the upcoming community Love Yourself Wellness Event on the 14th. Volunteer Opportunities — Clallam Conservation District ( Get outside and get active, for nature’s sake Please join Natural Resources of LEKT for planting events to help install native trees and shrubs on the Elwha River and beach plants on Ediz Hook. Please bring shovel, gloves, sturdy footwear, warm clothing, snack, and water for all events. RSVP at Indian Creek: Wednesday, February 15th 10am-1pm Meet on …READ MORE

Online Survey – Elwha Community Climate Change

Calling all LEKT staff and tribal community! Take the LEKT climate change survey right here! The tribe is launching their climate change planning and we are looking for your input. This survey will take about 15 minutes of your time. To be eligible for a gift card, you must be a tribal member, 18 years of age, you must complete the survey and put your name on it. Click the following link to get started: If you are a tribal member you can pick up your gift card in 3 ways In the Natural Resources building, 760 Stratton Rd. …READ MORE