• Olympic: Three Parks in One

    Olympic

    National Park Washington

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  • 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.

  • Hurricane Ridge Road Closed to Vehicles Sunday 8/3 (6:00a - noon)

    Due to the "Ride the Hurricane" bicycle event, the road to Hurricane Ridge will be closed above the Heart o' the Hills entrance station from 6:00a to noon on Sunday August 3rd.

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.

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

Did You Know?

closeup of cow elk face

Olympic National Park protects the largest unmanaged herd of Roosevelt elk in the world. Olympic was almost named "Elk National Park" and was established in part to protect these stately animals.