• Olympic: Three Parks in One

    Olympic

    National Park Washington

There are park alerts in effect.
show Alerts »
  • Madison Falls Trail Closed for Repairs Beginning July 7

    The one-tenth mile Madison Falls Trail and trailhead parking lot located in Elwha Valley will close to public entry beginning on Monday, July 7 while crews make improvements and repairs.

  • Spruce Railroad Trail Improvements to Begin August 5

    Spruce Railroad Trail will be closed from the Lyre River TH to approximately 0.25 miles east of Devil’s Punchbowl. Work is expected to be completed by the end of October. The remainder of the trail will be accessible from the Camp David Jr. Road TH. More »

  • Safety Advisory: Mountain Goats

    NPS has received reports of aggressive mountain goats near trails at Hurricane Ridge, Royal Basin, Seven Lakes Basin, Lake of the Angeles, & Grand Pass. Visitors are required to maintain a distance of at least 50 yards from all wildlife. More »

  • Safety Advisory: Rabies

    Rabies has been detected in a single bat in the Lake Crescent area of the park. Rabies exposure is extremely rare, but fatal if untreated. Anyone observing unusual or aggressive behavior among park wildlife should inform a park ranger as soon as possible. More »

Pink Salmon

Pink salmon

Pink Salmon - Oncorynchus gorbuscha

Identification:
Sometimes called “humpies” because of the large humps that develop on the backs of spawning males, pink salmon return weighing 2-9 lbs. They have oblong spots on their backs and tail fins, and mottled flanks during spawning. Like the other Pacific salmon, they are silver while at sea, but their sides may have a greenish coloration.

 
A pink salmon run

A pink salmon run

Ken and Mary Campbell

Spawning:
Most pink salmon in Washington State return during odd numbered years, usually to the lower reaches of rivers from July to September. One place to see them is in the Dungeness watershed, along the Gray Wolf River near the trailhead during these months. Historically, nearly 100,000 pink salmon homed to the Elwha River during odd numbered years.

Conservation Status:
Though pink salmon, along with chum, are the most abundant of the Pacific salmon, they are the scarcest of all in the park rivers. Their numbers have seriously declined throughout the peninsula, especially in the Dungeness and Elwha watersheds. (Historic Range Map)

Elwha pink salmon are a native, wild stock of critical status. They are practically gone from the Elwha River, with 100-200 fish returning during odd numbered years. The river is closed to the harvest of pink salmon. With the removal of the dams, numbers of pink will likely remain low until a threshold is reached, at which point, numbers will increase rapidly. Returns of approximately 100,000 fish could be reached over a 20 year recovery effort.

Back to main page

 
undefined

This webpage was made possible in part by a grant from Washington's National Park Fund.

Did You Know?

Mossy downed log in dense forest

The old growth forests of the Pacific Northwest produce three times the biomass (living or once living material) of tropical rain forests. More...