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Field Notes

Covering the natural wonders of the Pacific Northwest

July 9, 2012 at 7:00 AM

Remember that fishing moratorium on the Elwha?

Anglers excited about the news of fish returning to the Elwha will just have to contain their excitement a bit longer. A pair of wild adult winter steelhead spawning in mid May in the Little River, a tributary of the Elwha. John McMillan, photo All fishing is banned in the river and its tributaries during dam removal…

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July 6, 2012 at 4:00 PM

Local wolf pack coming to Discovery Channel Saturday

The Methow Valley’s Lookout Pack of wolves has been documented by the BBC, in a broadcast coming to local channels this weekend. One of the young in the Lookout Pack, subject of a BBC documentary airing locally this weekend. Photo courtesy of Conservation Northwest The wolves have been enjoying international exposure in the documentary, which has…

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July 5, 2012 at 10:00 AM

Steelhead spawning in the Elwha

The gray ghosts of the Elwha are back: wild steelhead, already spotted beyond the free flowing stretch of river that used to be Elwha Dam, for the first time in a century.

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A wild steelhead, relocated to the Little River, a tributary of the Elwha, and tagged so it can be tracked. Notice the radio tag. John McMillan, photo

John McMillan, fish biologist based in Port Angeles for NOAA’s Northwest Fisheries Science Center of Seattle saw the 35-inch male steelhead in the Little River last month. The fish had no tag and was much bigger than the fish he and colleague Ray Moses of the Lower Elwha Kallam Tribe have been capturing, tagging and re-locating to help spark colonization of the river. This fish though found its way back on his own, probably attracted by the scent of females already relocated to the tributary, McMillan thinks.

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