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Environment | Flora and Fauna

Chinook Salmon Return to Undammed Elwha River

PORT ANGELES, Wash. — Chinook salmon have returned to the undammed portion of the Elwha River.

The Peninsula Daily News reports adult chinook salmon — also known as king salmon — were observed Monday on the Elwha River about two miles upstream from the boundary of Olympic National Park.

Park officials and biologists are celebrating the salmon homecoming as a direct effect of the removal less than five months ago of one of two dams on the river.

When the Elwha Dam opened in 1913, more than 70 miles of Elwha River habitat were blocked to fish.

Salmon and steelhead were restricted to spawning in the five miles of the river below the Elwha Dam, just west of Port Angeles and outside the national park.

Steelhead were found above the now-demolished dam earlier this summer.

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