Wild steelhead making past former Elwha dam site on their own


Joe Streamer
A hopeful report in the Seattle Times:

"John McMillan, fish biologist based in Port Angeles for NOAA's Northwest Fisheries Science Center of Seattle saw the 35-inch male steelhead in the LIttle River last month. The fish had no tag and was much bigger than the fish he and colleague Ray Moses of the Lower Elwha Kallam Tribe have been capturing, tagging and re-locating to help spark colonization of the river. This fish though found its way back on his own, probably attracted by the scent of females already relocated to the tributary, McMillan thinks.

"We saw this really large fish, we hadn't tagged anything like it, it was also in better condition than all the other fish," McMillan said. "We could only conclude it had made it up there on its own. It's like Field of Dreams," he added. As in, build it, and they will come. Or in this case, un-build it. "Not everyone gives them enough credit," he said of the wild fish. "I give them a lot of credit.

"The cool thing about that is relocating fish not only helped colonize a new place and helped save some fish, but it also attracted a new fish in there. Sometimes you put something in one place, and then his buddies find it."

more... http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/ht...eelhead_spawning_in_the_elwha.html?cmpid=2628