Saturday, September 17, 2011 - Page updated at 05:39 p.m.

Explore the project

Elwha river fish runs

Fisheries biologists hope salmon runs will regain some of their former strength within about 25 years after the Elwha and Glines Canyon dams are removed. Historically, the Elwha River provided about 115 miles of habitat, including its channels and tributaries. The river blocked all salmon passage when Elwha Dam construction began in 1910, five miles from the river's mouth. It is estimated that native salmon dropped from pre-dam numbers of 390,000 to fewer than 3,000 in the 1990s. Today Elwha sockeye are extinct, pinks are at critically low levels, and steelhead, chinook and bulltrout are listed as threatened under the federal Endangered Species Act.

Colors show spawning habitat. Each species has a preferred reach of the river.

Note: Restoration targets for adult fish returning to the Elwha, 25 years after dam removal.
Sources: Elwha River Fish Restoration Plan, National Park Service
Graphics by Mark Nowlin / The Seattle Times