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Field Notes

Covering the natural wonders of the Pacific Northwest

November 27, 2012 at 1:19 PM

A celebration of wild fish: May the Rivers Never Sleep, a reading

John McMillan, a NOAA biologist tracking Elwha fish recovery in his day job, and his father, Bill McMillan, the storied angler, will host a reading at REI’s flagship store in Seattle to celebrate their new book, May the Rivers Never Sleep. It’s a collaboration and photographic journey that celebrates the rivers of the Northwest and their wild fish.

You’ve seen some of John’s beautiful photos of fish recolonizing the Elwha here in Field Notes.

steelhead elwha.jpg

A steelhead, making its way home to a tributary of the Elwha River.

John McMillan, photo.

And then there is my personal favorite, this photograph of a dipper dining on a coho egg in an Elwha tributary. To me, this photo, snapped in just a split second before the bird swallowed the egg, documents a tiny reboot of the Elwha food web, already underway as the river’s fish begin to come back to their native waters. Elwha Dam is already out, and Glines Canyon Dam will be gone by May 2012. With the return of the fish comes the gift of marine-derived nutrients to the watershed and its wildlife. From the carcasses of spawned out salmon, to the living fish, both juvenile and adult and their eggs, salmon and steelhead offer a feast from the sea for some 22 species of wildlife in the Elwha, from eagles to ospreys to dippers, bears, otters and more.

dipper with egg small_john mcmillan photo.JPG

A dipper savors a coho egg foraged in a tributary of the Elwha.

John McMillan photo

These are the sorts of images that will be shared along with a chance to take your questions about the health and status of fish in Northwest rivers — and how John and Bill got some of those amazing photos.

Here is a link with more about the reading.

It will be held Dec. 7, from 6:30-8:30 p.m., at the Seattle REI North Meeting Room, at 222 Yale Avenue North. The event is free and open to the public.

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