Priority Watershed: The Olympic Peninsula
Organizations like Wild Salmon Center, however, continue to partner
with federal agencies toward buying up more land on the North Olympic
Peninsula. Says former Clallam County Commissioner Phil Kitchel of
Forks, "At a time when the forest service itself admits that
it doesn't have the manpower or capability of patrolling and taking
care of lands already owned by government, is a proposal to "acquire
10,000 acres of private riparian forestland to protect priority salmonid
refugia, funded by US Land and Water Conservation Fund". They
have already had discussions with the district Forest Service Ranger
on the Forest Service managing these lands once acquired and the also
conversations with Dale Hom who is the head of the Olympic National
The Hoh River Basin
We rank the Hoh Basin, including the Calawah and Elk Creek, as a
high priority based on an evaluation of the following indicators of
Hatchery Influences: Although the Hoh Tribe releases 50,000 winter steelhead smolts annually, and there is evidence of some out-of-basin straying from other hatchery salmon and steelhead, the influence of hatchery practices is small.
Harvest Influences: There is an active year-round recreational fishery for Hoh River salmon and steelhead. The Hoh Tribe fishes commercially and for ceremonial and subsistence purposes, although the harvest levels are relatively low (less than 4,000 fish a year).
Recent Accomplishments: In summer and autumn 2002, Wild Salmon Center salmon biologists John McMillan and James Starr completed their third consecutive summer survey in the Hoh River basin. In the course of their study, they conduct exhaustive habitat and salmon population mapping, bushwacking through remote roadless areas to snorkel the tributaries and side-channels.
John and James have found that not all salmon habitat is equal, even within the most “pristine” watersheds. During the first-ever intensive survey of the Calawah River basin in September 2002, John and James surveyed every pool, run, glide, riffle and cascade that could be snorkeled. Every unit was mapped for habitat, whether or not it was snorkeled. The team covered 50 stream miles over five weeks, exploring areas of the watershed that have been closed to human access for the last decade, and its findings are adding valuable scientific evidence of the immense conservation value of salmon habitat areas outside Olympic National Park.
Spring/summer chinook (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha)
From Cascadia Salmon Biodiversity Program - Strategies for this year, the website states:
During 2002 and 2003, the Wild Salmon Center's principal objectives will be to:
The site points to the North Olympic Peninsula as one of the areas
designated for the above objectives.
The Wild Salmon Center (WSC) is a 501(c)(3) organization in partnership with such organizations as the Conservation International Institute of Biological Problems of the North IUCN / World Conservation Union Kamchatka Environmental Protection, the Kamchatka Institute for Ecology and Natural Resources, the Kamchatka League of Independent Experts (Russian) Institute of Water Ecological Problems, the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, Oregon Trout Pacific Environment, Russian Academy of Sciences (Russian) and others. See entire list here.
If there is any doubt about the influence of United Nations organizations directing the United States toward "sustainability" and the Wildlands Project implementation, click here and look around.
Last year, the Hoh River near Forks was a topic of interest, as follows:
American Fisheries Society Western Division Annual Meeting
ABSTRACT: Identifying salmonid refugia is a relatively new challenge for conservationists. Our goal is to identify and prioritize refugia for adult and juvenile salmonids in the Hoh River basin. This basin is large, with an extensive, active floodplain located on the Olympic Peninsula, Washington. We selected a total of 14 survey sites, from spring-brooks to the mainstem. We conducted snorkel surveys during the summer and winter of 2000/2001 and 2001/2002 to determine the abundance and diversity of juvenile salmonids. Redd counts conducted by the Hoh Indian Tribe and the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife from 1990-2000 provided spawner abundance and distribution estimates for adult salmonids. We also collected habitat measurements following the Oregon DFW Aquatic Inventory (1998) protocol. These results demonstrated that mainstem floodplain habitat supports the greatest abundance and diversity of juvenile salmonids followed closely by main valley tributaries. Analysis of the redd counts suggest that the mainstem river and four main valley tributaries are disproportionately important for spawning salmonids. Results indicate that core mainstem habitat had the highest densities of rearing juvenile fish, during both summer and winter months. Overall, we successfully identified key sub-watersheds that had the highest densities of spawners and rearing juvenile fish and which could be targeted for protection within conservation strategies.
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