Summer chum salmon in Hood Canal and the Strait of Juan de Fuca were listed as threatened under the US Endangered Species Act in 1999. Our organization began working with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) to supplement the Union River summer chum run in 2000 as part of the Summer Chum Salmon Conservation Initiative, prepared by the WDFW and the Point No Point Treaty Tribes. From mid-August to mid-October every year since 2000, an adult fish trap at the mouth of the Union River has been operated 24 hours per day by research interns and volunteers to collect data on adult summer chum abundance and to obtain adult chum for artificial spawning and stock supplementation.
The Hood Canal Steelhead Project is a 16-year project (2007-2022) that aims to restore three steelhead populations in Hood Canal. The project is a large collaborative effort to conduct work on seven Hood Canal streams. The primary focus is to carry out field work (which includes redd surveys, egg/embryo collections, summer parr sampling, and smolt trapping) on the Dewatto and Tahuya Rivers, and smolt trapping on the Little Quilcene River.
While striving to rebuild the populations, the project will also evaluate the impacts and effectiveness of hatchery supplementation as a conservation strategy. Many scientists, managers, and citizens recognize the need to better understand how conservation programs impact natural populations, especially as restoration efforts have increased with the decline of numerous salmon and steelhead runs in the Pacific Northwest over recent decades. Volunteers play an important part of smolt trapping and redd pumping! If you are interested in the project, come join our efforts!