Lesson Plan

Freeing the Elwha (Habitat Requirements for Pacific Salmon)


Salmon are survivors; nevertheless, they have very specific habitat requirements, what are the important habitat needs of the anadromous fish of the Elwha River watershed?


This lesson focuses on the specific habitat requirements for each Pacific salmon species, as well as, other anadromous fish of the Elwha River watershed. The ecological habitat of each salmon species includes their adult range in the ocean and the specific parts of the river, and its tributaries, that are critical spawning habitat.

  • Run (of fish) -- A group of fish of the same species that migrate together up a stream to spawn, usually associated with the seasons, e.g., fall, spring, summer, and winter runs. Members of a run interbreed, and may be genetically distinguishable from other individuals of the same species of different seasons or tributaries.
  • Riffle- A shallow section of stream with small gravel and higher flow velocity, which forms ripples on the surface. Sort of like a small set of rapids.
  • Stock - The fish spawning in a particular lake or stream(s) at a particular season, which to a substantial degree do not interbreed with any group spawning in a different place, or in the same place at a different season.
  • Stray - An individual that breeds in a population other than that of its parents.
  • Stray rate - The proportion of a population that consists of strays.


  • Lesson 11- Habitat Requirements for Pacific Salmon.pptx
  • Predator-Prey Interactions.pdf
  • Predator-Prey Calculator.xls
  • Reflection Journal Pages (printable handout)
  • Vocabulary Notes (printable handouts)


Review Essential Question; introduce Guiding Question.

 Students should take a few minutes to respond to the first reflection prompts. Discuss their answers and any questions they've generated.
Hand out the Vocabulary Notes. With this lesson you may want to define the words before presenting the PowerPoint Lesson.
Present the PowerPoint Lesson.
Predator-Prey Interactions Lab Activity.
Hand out the second Reflection Journal Page. Allow time for a final reflection the lesson.

Additional Resources



Run (of fish)
Stray rate