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The Elwha: Rising From the Ashes

In Washington by Sam Davidson

2020 has been noteworthy in many ways. Some of this year’s offerings (megafires, Covid-19) have been unwelcome. But for steelhead anglers and advocates, one highlight was the release of a new film in April documenting the return of summer steelhead to Washington’s Elwha River.

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New TU film on Elwha River wild steelhead recovery premieres April 17

In Washington by Sam Davidson

WATCH THE FULL FILM NOW: Bases-loaded home runs are few and far between in the river restoration game. But for summer run steelhead, those mysterious and long-distance traveling cousins to winter run O. mykiss, that’s what happened when two dams on Washington’s Elwha River were removed over the past decade. While the rebound of salmon and winter run steelhead in …

The Elwha Files: My oh my, what have we found

In Washington by Nick Chambers

By John McMillan Should we invest in dam removal? It’s a question that many communities, businesses and policy-makers are facing these days — partly because of aging infrastructure and financial liabilities, and partly because of legal obligations to protect water quality and recover declining salmon and steelhead populations. To that, I say: let the fish tell us what works. One …

Science Friday: Who’s who in the Elwha after dam removal

In Science Friday, Washington by Nick Chambers

By John McMillan   We should not be surprised by steelhead and salmon rushing upstream to pass former dams. That is their nature — to push boundaries, access new habitat. Unbuild it, and they will come.   And come they have in Washington’s Elwha River, where in 2014 two old dams were taken down. Not only have we observed hundreds …

Rise of the Phoenix: wild summer steelhead in the Elwha River

In Science Friday by Nick Chambers

By John McMillan, science director, Trout Unlimited Wild Steelhead Initiative   A few years back, while working on the Elwha dam removal project, I donned a wetsuit for one of many snorkel surveys I conducted that summer. I had been snorkeling the main-stem Elwha, but that day – a crisp cool day in mid-October – I found myself drawn to …

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Update: Emergency closure for some winter steelhead rivers and the Quileute Tribe’s perspective

In Washington by John McMillan

It has been a tough stretch for wild winter steelhead on the West End of Washington’s Olympic Peninsula. Now, several months into the season, some of these runs appear to be even weaker than forecast. Given the alarmingly low returns of coastal wild winter steelhead so far this year, it’s not a surprise WDFW had to take additional action to protect these fish.