Elwha Fish

Ron McNeal

"Sheltering"........ & BORED....
Somewhat old, but maybe new for some, news about the Elwha's wonderous recovery:

https://www.spokesman.com/stories/2019/oct/16/rob-masonis-the-phoenix-in-the-elwha/

Those attending the new Edmunds' TU Chapter's party next Thursday (see this thread: Meet your new "Edmonds" TU!) might have a chance to ask John McMilan about what he saw. I've heard he was pretty darn amazed and delighted with what they found last September.....
 

FinLuver

Active Member
Are those strays or from the original genetics that had been locked for years above the dams?
Was the strain really extinct before the dams were built?
 

Salmo_g

Well-Known Member
WFF Supporter
Are those strays or from the original genetics that had been locked for years above the dams?
Was the strain really extinct before the dams were built?
A small number of wild winter steelhead survived downstream of the Elwha dams for over 100 years before they were removed. There were also rainbow trout in the river between the two dams as well as upstream of the uppermost dam. So there was an existing reservoir of rainbow/steelhead to produce both summer and winter steelhead once the dams were removed.

It's complicated, to say the least, to call a steelhead population extinct when rainbow trout that are part of the same population continue to persist in the native watershed.
 

Ron McNeal

"Sheltering"........ & BORED....
Are those strays or from the original genetics that had been locked for years above the dams?
Was the strain really extinct before the dams were built?
Luke Kelly, TU Staffer on the OP and one of the "snorkelers" on this survey/inventory, said (as I remember) that some of the resident rainbows, for years trapped above the Glines Canyon dam, had their "migratory switches" flipped soon after dam removal and headed out to the salt.....
I think he also mentioned that the team assumed the possibility of strays..... Luke's comments covered initial thoughts/impressions and were not based on any genetic testing...
 

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