Olympic Hot Springs Road Closed
The Elwha Valley's Olympic Hot Springs Road is closed to public entry beyond the Altair Campground during removal of the Glines Canyon Dam. Olympic Hot Springs is not accessible from the Elwha.
Elwha River Closures
Boating is prohibited on the Elwha River from Upper Lake Mills Trail downstream to the Highway 112 bridge, except for the stretch between Altair Campground and the Highway 101 bridge.
Changes to Visitor Services Due to Sequestration
Due to mandatory, across the board budget cuts, some visitor services at Olympic National Park have changed. See the Plan Your Visit section for more information.
Sockeye salmon - Oncorynchus nerka
Young fry stay in the rivers from one to three years before heading to sea. They then spend about four years at sea before returning to their native lakes and tributaries to spawn.
Lake Ozette and Lake Crescent both have populations of "landlocked" sockeye called Kokanee. They spend their entire lives in the lake and are smaller than the anadromous version of sockeye. Lake Crescent's population of Kokanee is thought to have become landlocked when Lake Crescent was separated from Lake Sutherland by a massive landslide about 7,000 years ago. Lake Sutherland drains into the Elwha River, which, in the past, had sockeye returns before the construction of the Elwha dam. (Historic Range Map)
The anadromous stock of sockeye in Lake Ozette Lake is listed as threatened under the Endanged Species Act. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) adopted a final recovery plan in May 2009.
Sockeye in the Elwha River are basically extinct. When the dams are removed, it is anticipated that the Lake Sutherland Kokanee population will contribute to the natural restoration of sockeye. It is unknown as to how rapidly sockeye will recover; projections have been made which hope to restore the population to around 3,000 spawners in the two decades following dam removal.
To learn more about recovery efforts for Lake Ozette sockeye, take a look at these additional sites:
West End Natural Resources News article (PDF)
This webpage was made possible in part by a grant from Washington's National Park Fund.
Did You Know?
That endemic Olympic snow moles are scurrying beneath this blanket of snow? Olympic National Park's Hurricane Ridge is blanketed with over ten feet of snow for most of the winter, providing water for summer and protection for snow moles in winter.