EarthFix, through Seattle public radio station KUOW, reported on the latest changes in the Elwha River, including observing juvenile salmon emerging from egg nests in the river’s upper watershed. Two Lower Elwha Klallam natural resources technicians, Virgil Bennett and Gabe Youngman, are featured, who check the fish traps and keep track of the smolts in the watershed.
From the transcript:
Virgil Bennett and Gabe Youngman are down on their knees peering into a fish trap in a side channel of the Elwha. They’re members of the Elwha Klallam Tribe and work on fish restoration.
“There’s probably about 50 or more. See ‘em all right there?” Bennett points into the holding chamber of the fish trap below him.
Tiny flickers of silver flash amongst the plant debris caught in the trap.
The men brandish green nets and start to fish the salmon smolts out, one by one.
“There’s that one in here too, that little small one,” Youngman says, “See? There he is.”
These baby coho salmon are on their way downriver to the open ocean. They are the first wave of what many hope will one day be robust runs of salmon in this river, now that the dams are being removed.