Viewing a salmon run in the Pacific Northwest is a powerful experience. We’ve put together this list of salmon watching locations from organizations around Washington State, so you can see this epic migration in your own community. Don’t see your favorite public viewing spot here? Let us know so we can add it!
Statewide Salmon Watching
Salmon in Whatcom County
Salmon in Skagit County
Salmon in Kitsap County
Salmon in King County
Salmon in South Puget Sound
Tips for Salmon Viewing
- Respect the salmon, the lands and waters, and the people who steward them, especially Indigenous peoples whose cultures have been deeply connected with salmon since time immemorial. The Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission and Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission are good resources to learn about the relationship between tribal people and salmon in the area you’re visiting. The Snoqualmie Tribe Ancestral Lands Movement shares ways to practice respectful recreation on ancestral Snoqualmie territory.
- Give salmon space, and stay out of the stream. They are working hard, and if you’re near the spawning grounds, the streambed may already contain redds (nests of salmon eggs). Walking in the water disturbs the fish and can kill the eggs.
- Polarized sunglasses can make it easier to see fish in the water.
- Learn about the different species and their behavior. The local organizations below have great resources. You can also find an identification guide from Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife here.
- Observe the whole environment. Is the streambed rocks, sand, gravel, or a combination? Are there trees shading the water? What’s the weather like? What other animals do you see using this habitat? How much human influence can you see?
- Bring the experience home by taking action. We have 10 ways you can help save salmon, from building a healthier environment, to contributing to science, to sharing your salmon love with your friends, family, and leaders. Many of the links below also have ways you can volunteer for salmon recovery!
P.S. Salmon viewing can be an at-home experience too! Watch salmon returning to the Issaquah Hatchery on their live feed here. And you can join our Hood Canal steelhead underwater any time at LLTK’s livestreaming Fish Camera!
About Long Live the Kings (LLTK)
Our mission is to restore wild salmon and steelhead and support sustainable fishing in the Pacific Northwest. Since 1986, we have been advancing science, improving management, and implementing solutions to balance the needs of fish and people. LLTK envisions a sustainable Northwest with a growing human population, a thriving economy, and flourishing salmon runs.
Our 26-member Board of Directors, and 13 dedicated staff members seek broad involvement to help us accomplish our goals. Our core values include collaboration, innovation, accountability, and inclusivity. Our staff are located in Seattle, Hood Canal, and Orcas Island, and work throughout western Washington and the Pacific Northwest. Learn more about us in our 2025 Strategic Roadmap, and on our website.
Position Summary – Science Project Manager
This new team member will use their scientific, technical, and project management expertise to help LLTK advance science and implement solutions for salmon recovery and sustainable fisheries. This is a full-time position focused on managing existing projects, developing and implementing new projects, and ultimately influencing the trajectory of salmon recovery.
The Science Project Manager will report to the Associate Director for Government Relations and Special Projects and collaborates across all departments. If you are a scientific, creative, and strategic thinker, have experience collecting, analyzing, and visualizing technical data with qualitative and quantitative methods, have developed and implemented collaborative research and/or salmon conservation projects, possess strong writing and presentation skills, and are excited to engage with diverse stakeholders on a wide range of projects, we hope to hear from you.
- Works collaboratively in a team environment across all levels of staff and the Board of Directors to develop and implement research projects that typically engage a varied group of stakeholders within the salmon research community. This includes securing project funding for existing and new priorities
- Facilitates discussions and decision-making processes, including multi-party, multi-disciplinary, multi-agency project-related meetings; scientific discussions; workshops; conference sessions; stakeholder sessions; and technical science team meetings to develop research or apply science to management and conservation actions
- Coordinates and manages project contracts, subcontracts, and associated reporting and deliverables
- Identifies and obtains appropriate scientific and regulatory permits to conduct project work
- Designs and executes technical studies, including data collection and statistical analysis
- Develops scientific reports, issue papers, project progress reports, work plans, strategic planning documents, monitoring and adaptive management plans, grant applications, and outreach/communications materials
- Communicates project progress and results to diverse technical and non-technical audiences through presentations, reports, and public-facing communications materials in conferences, webinars, or public forums
- Consults on technical issues related to project activities and hatchery operations across the organization
- Builds and maintains relationships with state, federal, tribal, local, and nonprofit project partners around the region
- As needed, effectively seeks guidance from and shares information with scientific resources outside the organization
- Provides input on the vision and strategic direction of the organization
- Participates fully in diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) initiatives, and works to apply a DEI lens to project work
Ideal Experience, Skills, & Qualifications
- Developing, implementing, facilitating, synthesizing, and managing multi-party, collaborative scientific projects, assessments, or experiments
- Providing guidance on and applying the latest science and state of the knowledge to salmon restoration actions, and managing proof of concept projects
- Collecting, analyzing, and visualizing technical data with qualitative and quantitative methods for scientific writing, progress reports, technical reports, and/or manuscripts
- Managing contract budgets, schedules, and associated deliverables
- Communicating progress and results of technical projects to diverse technical and non-technical audiences through presentations, reports, and public-facing communications materials
- Desire to be a part of our diversity, equity, and inclusion work as it moves forward
- Proven work experience in fisheries biology, ecology, natural resources management, environmental science, conservation science, or closely related field
- Bachelor’s degree, or a more advanced degree, in fisheries biology, ecology, natural resources management, environmental science, conservation science, or closely related field (or an equivalent combination of education and experience that provides the knowledge, skills, and abilities to perform the duties and responsibilities as described)
Additional Experience, Skills, & Qualifications
- Conducting climate resiliency and/or salmon diversity projects, or relevant education in those fields
- Familiarity with technical aspects of hatchery practices and issues in salmon management and conservation
- Experience giving public presentations
- Passion for protecting and stewarding nature and wildlife
- Competencies in Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint), R, GIS, and/or equivalent data analysis platforms
- Experience writing grants, or assisting with them
- History of peer-reviewed manuscripts, white papers, technical reports
- Fieldwork experience in the nearshore and marine environments
- Existing network of Puget Sound environmental and/or salmon recovery professionals
- Experience working with diverse partners and stakeholders
- Ability to work independently in a remote environment
- Leadership role(s) in prior paid and/or volunteer positions
Compensation, Benefits, & Location
$62,000-78,000 annual salary, depending upon qualifications. Generous benefits provided including:
- Paid Time Off (Vacation, Sick, Holiday, Personal)
- Health Insurance
- Life Insurance
- Dental insurance
- Health Reimbursement Account (HRA)
- 401k with matching opportunities (after one year of full-time employment) 5%
- Long Term Disability Insurance
- Flex Spending Account
- Dependent Care FSA
- ORCA Pass for commuting
This position is based in downtown Seattle (5th & University) in our administrative offices but will be remote/hybrid during Covid-19; the ability to work remotely is necessary at this time.
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
Both staff and Board have recently begun a formal process of examining ourselves and our organization with a DEI lens. Our intention is to do the work so that we can authentically embrace DEI principles as a core value that drives the success of our people, our partners, and our work.
How to Apply
We welcome and encourage qualified people of all identities and abilities to apply. Please email to apply, letting us know where you saw the job posted or how you heard about it, and include a resume and 1-page cover letter that describes your interest in this position and your relevant qualifications and experience. Priority review given to applications received by 9/20; position open until filled.
We look forward to receiving your materials. Please send them to Lucas Hall at email@example.com. We’re a small team and politely request that follow-up calls or emails be restricted to technical questions or necessary accommodations having to do with applying.
Long Live the Kings joins all those honoring the memory of Lorraine Loomis, who died this week at the age of 81. As Director of Swinomish Fisheries and Chair of the Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission, Lorraine was a champion for salmon and the interests of her Tribe, her community and all people who cared about fish, fishing and the environment that supports them all. She was a beloved friend and leader for her passion, kindness, strength, and tireless commitment to a future for salmon and tribal fisheries.
The Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission shares some of Lorraine’s own powerful words in their tribute to her life:
“None of us tribal natural resources managers are working for today. We are all working for tomorrow. We are working to make certain there will be salmon for the next seven generations.”
We will miss Lorraine terribly, but we’re determined to carry on her legacy in our work and efforts to guarantee that salmon will be here for this and many generations to come.
Last month’s record-shattering heat wave is driving an early start to lethally warm water temperatures for salmon in the Lake Washington Ship Canal. For over a week following the heat wave, water in parts of the Canal reached above 72 degrees Fahrenheit every day, a deadly threshold that weakens salmon and can kill them if they are exposed for long. Throughout the peak of sockeye migration and as threatened Chinook start to return, temperatures near the surface have stayed above 70 degrees.
Pacific salmon are cold-water species, adapted for mountain-fed, forested rivers and cool oceans and estuaries. Healthy water temperatures for salmon are under 58 degrees. Above 59 degrees, their bodies become stressed, making them easier targets for predators and at higher risk of disease. When water temperature reaches between 70 and 72 degrees, it forms a “migration barrier,” meaning it’s too hot for salmon to swim through, and can be lethal. These extreme temperatures have a generational ripple effect in struggling salmon populations. Even if they can survive to reach their spawning grounds, fish weakened from high temperatures are less successful in reproducing.
Human alterations to the landscape, combined with climate change, have made the Lake Washington Ship Canal an especially hot, difficult passage for Seattle’s salmon. Sockeye, Chinook, and coho salmon from the Cedar and Sammamish Rivers must pass through the Ship Canal twice during their lifetime, where these deadly warm temperatures are now routine during the summer months. Temperatures climb quickly in the artificial environment of the Canal, an abrupt shift from cool salt water to warm freshwater that puts salmon under extreme stress. At the Ballard Locks, a major barrier, salmon can be seen “holding” for days or weeks, losing vital days on their spawning migration likely in part due to the need to avoid high water temperatures. Seals and sea lions are also a frequent sight at the Locks, where waiting, weakened salmon are easy prey. Biologists suspect that the combined stress of warm water and predator harassment can be a lethal combination.
This summer’s heat wave struck earlier than usual, at the height of the returning sockeye migration. Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife observed dead sockeye around the Ballard Locks fish ladder during and after the heat wave, near the transition from cold marine water to warmer fresh water. The high temperatures are expected to continue as this year’s run of Chinook salmon, listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act, start to return to the watershed in mid-July. But 2021 is not an isolated incident. High temperatures and low dissolved oxygen have been a known problem in the Canal for over two decades. Earlier this year, a report to the Lake Washington/Cedar/Sammamish Watershed (WRIA 8) Salmon Recovery Council found that the Canal is warm enough to harm salmon through almost all of the critical summer migration window. Between 2009 and 2019, surface waters were warm enough to negatively affect salmon an average of 87-92% of days from May to September. Parts of the canal are above 72 degrees, hot enough to block migration or kill salmon, between 12% and 24% of migration days. Thanks to the heat wave, 2021 is likely to push those averages even higher.
With climate change upon us, summer temperatures are continuing to get hotter, and more extraordinary records are likely to be broken. This summer has shown us just how dangerous these conditions can be for salmon who are already struggling. Experts agree that without addressing the Ship Canal, long-term salmon recovery in the Cedar and Sammamish watersheds will be nearly impossible. Like all climate resilience challenges, solving this complicated problem is an effort that will take action and involvement from everyone in our watershed community.
Based on the findings from the recent Report, LLTK and WRIA 8 are partnering to address this urgent issue. We’re convening a team of government and community partners to review current science and evaluate strategies to improve salmon passage through the Canal. We’ll be working urgently over the next several months to find creative, collaborative, and long-lasting solutions to help salmon migrate more successfully through these difficult waters, with preliminary recommendations expected by early 2022.
Funding support for the Lake Washington Ship Canal work group is provided by King County Water Works and the WRIA 8 Salmon Recovery Council.
Wildlife cameras help people connect with nature and see the world from another species’ perspective. Many of us have enjoyed watching fledglings in an eagle’s nest, or spotted cougars and coyotes passing through a wildlife corridor – but getting a view of life underwater is a little more challenging.
Thanks to a grant from the Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife and some DIY ingenuity by our staff, now you can! Long Live the Kings has set up a live video feed in one of the steelhead rearing ponds at a conservation hatchery on Hood Canal. View the livestream any time from here or on our YouTube channel to spend some time with the fish.
These steelhead (or rainbow trout, the freshwater variant of the same species) are part of an innovative conservation program that LLTK manages to support the recovery of Hood Canal’s native steelhead. Hatched from wild-spawned eggs, they are being raised here to help give natural populations a boost. When they are mature, they are released to spawn in the rivers and migrate to sea. (Watch a steelhead release here.)
This is a live video feed, so visibility can vary. We clean off algae that builds up on the camera every few days. The fish are fed around 11:00am most days, which is a good time to see lots of activity! If you don’t have a good live view, you can watch a highlight here.
Coho salmon rely on streams and side channels for spawning and juvenile rearing before their migration to saltwater to feed, grow and mature. They typically spawn between the ages of three and four in their natal streams. Coho and other salmon are vulnerable to many stressors including blocked access to spawning grounds and habitat degradation caused by dams, culverts and past land use practices.
One successful approach to restoring historic native coho and other salmon populations throughout the Pacific Northwest has included the removal of barriers to fish passage in conjunction with instream and riparian buffer habitat restoration.
One of fourteen Regional Fisheries Enhancement Groups in Washington State, the nonprofit Nooksack Salmon Enhancement Association (NSEA) in Bellingham, WA has successfully completed over 450 projects on salmon-bearing creeks in Whatcom County over its 30-year history. One of those is a channel modification and barrier removal project on a tributary of Goodwin Creek in the Sumas River watershed. Thanks to partnerships with three landowners and several state and federal agencies, a mile-long section of habitat has been reconnected with the native Pacific coho populations for the first time in over 30 years.
If You Rebuild It, They Will Come
Planning first began in 2015 to remove three fish passage barriers on private properties. “One of the great aspects about working on streams is the opportunity to get to know a diverse variety of landowners,” explains NSEA Project Manager Darrell Gray. “A project begins with a conversation about salmon, and grows over time to a variety of topics. Throughout the years, I have had the great pleasure of getting to know some amazing landowners. These three were particularly great to work with.”
Each of the three landowners came to the project with differing backgrounds, interests and needs. One 30-acre small business farm raises horses and cows. The second is an 80-acre farm and the third, owned by Rose Anne Featherston, is a 5-acre farm with a horse.
“It was around 2014 that I contacted the Whatcom Conservation District about participating in their CREP program,” remembers Featherston of the stream that runs just meters behind her home. The CREP, or Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program, is a county-based voluntary program that pays landowners to establish native tree and shrub buffers along fish-bearing streams and rivers. CREP removed about an acre of invasive blackberries and planted native plants. Native plant buffers protect water quality, develop root systems that stabilize stream banks, reduce erosion, create shade that lowers water temperature and leaf litter attracts macroinvertebrates that young salmon eat.
“When we discovered that my culvert was almost blocked, CREP connected me with NSEA.” Both Featherston and her neighbors had culverts that were too small. One culvert had a drop of more than six feet that prevented coho passage for more than three decades. But coho spotted north of the culvert were evidence that a restoration effort could be successful if done well.
The Restoration Approach
“After surveying the stream to develop project designs, it became apparent that all of the barriers should be removed at the same time to allow stored sediments behind each to move downstream, establishing a new stream gradient,” remembers Gray.
Landowners allowed NSEA teams to replace barrier culverts with two bridges and a 10’ diameter culvert as well as establish new native plantings to buffer the creek from adjacent agricultural activities.
Construction began in early September 2016 just in time for the fall rains and lasted more than three weeks. As the properties were all neighboring, NSEA was able to move equipment from one site to the next with the removal of a few fences. “This also allowed us to regrade the channel between sites to the anticipated new stream gradient,” explains Gray. “Large cobbles were added to the stream bed to maintain the new gradient and provide areas of slower moving water where salmon can rest.”
NSEA is required by permit to revegetate areas disturbed during instream projects. Work was completed by the NSEA team and native replantings were accomplished with help from six members of the Washington Conservation Corps(WCC), an AmeriCorps program administered by the Washington State Department of Ecology. They planted over 760 young native trees and shrubs across the three properties, including Western red cedar, Douglas fir, Pacific nine bark and black twinberry, all grown from bare-root stock in NSEA’s nursery.
“Within a few weeks of project completion, through my window I heard the first splashes of the salmon returning. It was amazing,” remembers Featherston who has since joined the NSEA Board of Directors to provide landowner perspective. “This year I’ve already seen opossum, eagles and coyotes feasting on salmon carcasses.” More than 40 species of vertebrates, including salmon, birds and mammals directly benefit from salmon runs by feasting on salmon, their eggs, carcasses or their young.
NSEA monitors their project sites—through spawner and vegetation surveys—for three to five years after completion to evaluate restoration efforts. In addition to counting live fish, NSEA counts dead fish and new and old redds (spawning nests), and records stream flow and visibility. Having been monitored 19 times since 2017, NSEA has now documented more than 230 adult salmon migrating upstream, many of which spawned within the project reach.
What Swims Ahead
This project demonstrates that removing barriers to fish passage, such as culverts and steep elevation changes, while improving native plant buffers along streams, can restore historic coho salmon runs in Pacific Northwest tributaries in just a few years.
“The great thing about NSEA is that they listen to landowners,” notes Featherston. “I’m impressed by how Darrell and NSEA never push landowners. They come up with creative solutions that meet the needs of diverse landowners and are gifted at striking that balance.”
This summer, NSEA will continue their instream and riparian restoration work further upstream to give these coho access to additional habitat further to the south.
“We have great appreciation for landowners like these that are curious, patient and accommodating participants,” adds Gray. “We hope this kind of work will help restore historic salmon populations and that these neighbors will enjoy the returning salmon for years to come.”
Celebrating 30 Years Restoring Sustainable Wild Salmon Runs in Whatcom County
“Seeing the coho and spring Chinook return to spawn in areas that we’ve cared for is just one of the things that makes all of this hard work feel more like a reward than an effort,” explains NSEA Executive Director Rachel Vasak. “It’s such a joy looking up at a tree we planted—once just a tiny seedling but now over 50-feet tall—or hearing community members describe the wonder they experienced as a child when they learned about salmon and habitat from NSEA over 20 years ago. Over our 30 years, we’ve completed over 450 restoration projects, educated more than 25,000 students about salmon and planted well over a hundred thousand trees in Whatcom County.”
NSEA is poised to continue this important work in the decades to come. In 2021 alone, NSEA will remove 13 fish passage barriers, improving access to over 20 miles of upstream habitat, as well as install 17 large woody debris structures and over 21,000 native plants along 7,900 feet of stream channel.
Learn more at www.n-sea.org!
Darrell Gray, NSEA Project Manager, has been with NSEA for more than 25 years. He leads NSEA’s instream and restoration projects with designs, permits and implementations.
Amy Johnson is NSEA’s Advancement Manager in charge of communications and development, supporting education, restoration, and stewardship of Pacific salmon in Whatcom County.
Lorraine Wilde is Owner and Lead Strategist at Wilde World Communications. She has published more than 250 articles and blogs, helping small businesses and organizations spread positive messages, champion social justice and protect the environment.
Long Live the Kings is investing in the future of salmon and steelhead in the Pacific Northwest. In order for young people to champion this cause for decades to come, we need to give them the opportunity to learn about their own environments, feel connected, and be empowered to take action. Thanks to a grant from Boeing and support from partners like NOAA, we’ve been able to revamp our classroom materials to provide educators free resources for remote and in-person learning environments. Hear more about the material and other salmon education resources below.
Survive the Sound in the Classroom
Our educational program designed to accompany the Survive the Sound migration provides free resources for teachers to do with their classes either online or in the physical classroom. There are six activities mostly suited for 2nd-6th grade, but which can be adapted to any grade K-12. The activities discuss the salmon life cycle, watersheds, Steelhead anatomy, and more! These place-based lessons can be taught anytime, but are especially relevant during the weeks leading up to, during, and after the migration in early May.
Survive the Sound in the Classroom lessons are connected to Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) and can be incorporated into Amplify units as well as Washington State’s Tribal Sovereignty Curriculum, Since Time Immemorial. This program is also researched based, using data from real juvenile steelhead on their way out to the Puget Sound. It is a great resource to include in your STEM or Social Studies units. From math activities to engineering design problems to discussing the human impact on the watershed, Survive the Sound in the Classroom is a great tool to connect abstract concepts to a tangible, meaningful subject- salmon and steelhead in Puget Sound.
Survive the Sound can be taught virtually or in person, with digital lessons suitable for google classrooms and Seesaw lessons as well as PDFs to print and distribute to students. The lessons can be flexible to your current scheduling whether you only have time for 5 minutes a day or 45. During the migration, students can also journal along and form hypotheses about what their fish might be experiencing.
To learn more about Survive the Sound in the Classroom, please check out this educator training video:
Since Time Immemorial
Since Time Immemorial (STI) is Washington State’s tribal sovereignty curriculum for social studies. Salmon science and Survive the Sound’s activities can be easily woven into STI’s units, especially the Elementary pathways: “Honoring the Salmon” and “Salmon Homecoming” as well as the Middle School pathways: “River of Kings” and “Fish Wars”. As you think about what elements of salmon education you want to bring into your classroom or program, check out these videos from local PNW tribal members:
- Combining graphic art and storytelling, Roger Fernandez of the Clallum Tribe tells the traditional story of the Salmon Boy. Listen to a short story with a valuable lesson about our connection to the environment while also learning about Coast Salish art.
- “I am salmon”, a video about the 5 pacific salmon narrated by a tribal member. This video discusses the life cycle, diet, and environmental needs of salmon from a native perspective.
- Billy Frank Jr. narrates “sčədadxʷ (salmon)”, a short video describing the importance of salmon to the Nisqually and other tribes. This beautifully animated video explores the past, present, and future of salmon heath.
Salmon in Schools
Many Conservation Districts and local government organizations such as Seattle Public Utilities offer programs for teachers to raise salmon in their classrooms and release them in the Spring. This is a great way for students to see fish grow up from eggs to fry and get to know them close and personal. These are a few resources you can find your local Salmon in Schools program:
- Foster Creek Conservation District- Douglas County, Washington
- Franklin Conservation District offers many different environmental education programs including Salmon in the Classroom and Drain Rangers, a stormwater education program.
- Hood Canal Salmon Enhancement Group– with the mission of making sure salmon are once again abundant in the Pacific Northwest, HCSEG provides Salmon in the Classroom to Pioneer, North Mason, and Shelton School Districts.
- Seattle Public Utilities
- Sound Salmon Solutions provides Salmon in Schools in the Snohomish county area and also features an education center accompanied by a “micro hatchery”
- Tri-State Steelheaders
Visit your local hatchery
In-person or virtual field trips to a hatchery are a great way to incorporate experiential learning about salmon needs, life cycle, and anatomy. There are many hatcheries that provide educational opportunities including:
Please send us your experiences with Salmon Education in your classroom! firstname.lastname@example.org
For immediate release: 4/20/2021 – Seattle, WA
Survive the Sound invites everyone to compete with friends and learn about salmon and steelhead – a salmonid and Washington’s State fish – by picking a young steelhead, joining a team, and tracking it as it migrates through Puget Sound to the Pacific Ocean. Competition to build the largest team heats up in the second half of April, and participants receive daily updates on fish progress during the migration from May 3-7.
Seattle – Five years ago, salmon recovery nonprofit Long Live the Kings (LLTK) developed Survive the Sound as a free, interactive, and virtual game to engage and educate the public about salmon and steelhead – Washington’s State Fish – and contribute to their recovery. Today, the game soars to new heights through integration of a full-suite salmon science curriculum into virtual and in-person classrooms.
“With students around the state having to learn remotely this year due to the pandemic, Survive the Sound provides a connection to our environment and learning opportunity using real data for fish trying to swim from their native rivers to the Pacific Ocean.”
– Jacques White, Executive Director Long Live the Kings
Survive the Sound is the first of its kind to gamify real data, obtained from acoustic transmitters implanted in out-migrating fish by scientists at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The data is part of LLTK’s greater research initiatives, to track steelhead migrations from natal streams to the Pacific Ocean.
From now until May 2nd, Survive the Sound participants pick from 48 funny fish avatars, build a team, and invite friends, family, coworkers, and classmates to race. Beginning on May 3rd, participants watch on an interactive map as their fish embarks on a harrowing journey – avoiding predators, fighting disease, and navigating obstacles – on their way to the Pacific Ocean.
Daily updates will alert participants whether their fish has survived another day or perished to one of many challenges along their migration route. Gratification is awarded to participants who chose a surviving fish, and the team with the most surviving fish wins. In this way, participants are motivated to build the largest team of fish to have the best odds of having the most surviving fish on their team. Throughout the Survive the Sound experience, participants will learn about salmon and steelhead, the challenges they face in the Salish Sea, what is being done to recover imperiled populations, and ways to take action in their daily lives.
With support from Boeing in 2021, LLTK designed a full-suite education toolkit to accompany the Survive the Sound game. Classroom materials, video lessons, an activity journal, STEM learning opportunities, and teacher trainings to support in-person and virtual salmon science learning are available for free to anyone at SurvivetheSound.org/classroom. LLTK seeks to reinvigorate state-wide salmon science curriculums and establish a large constituency of vocal salmon advocates through Survive the Sound.
“My first and second grade students really enjoyed following the steelhead in Survive the Sound. Students were invested and engaged. They wanted to know more.”
– Susan Foley, Elementary School Teacher
The game is free to play, but participants may donate to support LLTK, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that has been working to restore wild salmon and steelhead and support sustainable fishing in the Pacific Northwest for more than 30 years.
How Survive the Sound Works
Each year, wild steelhead are caught as they make their way downriver from their natal streams. LLTK and partners implant the fish with tracking devices as part of their larger research efforts to understand juvenile salmonid survival in the Salish Sea. Each tag emits a unique acoustic ping heard by receivers placed underwater throughout Puget Sound. This tracking data can supply locations and sometimes depth and temperature. The steelhead in Survive the Sound represent real fish that were tracked in the past and scientists at LLTK pick a representative sample of 48 fish to include each year.
This work is part of the larger LLTK efforts. The Hood Canal Bridge Assessment and the Salish Sea Marine Survival Project, an international US/Canada effort to determine why certain species of salmon and steelhead are dying in the combined marine waters of Puget Sound and Strait of Georgia.
Why it Matters
Currently, only about 15% of wild steelhead survive their trek through the marine environment of Puget Sound. They’re now listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. Unless we can better understand the reasons for steelhead’s decline in Puget Sound and mitigate the threats they face, there is serious concern that steelhead may slip into extinction.
Survive the Sound provides scientists with important new data about steelhead’s lifecycle, gives the public an opportunity to engage with wild steelhead in a fun and interactive way, and raises essential funds for Long Live the Kings’ salmon and steelhead recovery projects.
To learn more, visit www.survivethesound.org.
Survive the Sound is possible thanks to the following sponsors:
Anchor QEA, The Boeing Company, Chinook Book, Environmental Science Associates, Foundry 10, Hancock Forest Management, Herrera Environmental Consultants, MiiR, Montana Banana, Nisqually Indian Tribe, Pike Place Chowder, Pike Place Fish, Puget Sound Steel, Q13 Fox, Seattle Public Utilities, Stalcup Family Team, Tacoma Public Utilities, The Tulalip Tribes, & Vulcan
For more information contact:
Lucas Hall, Long Live the Kings, email@example.com, (206) 382-9555 Ext. 30
Every year we wait to act, more steelhead will die at the Hood Canal Bridge.
LLTK and our partners have spent the last three years hard at work finding solutions to this challenge, resulting in actionable findings that we can now use to improve fish passage at this recovery bottleneck. Late last year, Governor Inslee proposed $3.618 million to support fish passage at the Hood Canal Bridge. Now, as the State Legislature is drafting the budget for the next two years, this funding is at risk. We are finally at the point of being able to do something about the 50% mortality rate of juvenile steelhead at the bridge, but without this funding we can’t move forward.
Your state legislators have been instrumental in securing funding for this work and we are grateful for their support, but this is a tough budget year. To secure this critical funding, legislators need to know that they have your support. Funding will install and test fish guidance structures at the bridge to help juvenile fish avoid predators, and it will answer an important question that is concerning many: is the bridge also impacting returning adult salmon?
If you would like to help us avoid more steelhead death at the bridge, please contact your legislator today and ask them to fully fund fish passage at the Hood Canal Bridge! Below, you’ll find suggested text for an email and you can find your legislator HERE.
Dear Senator/Representative <last name>,
I am writing to thank you for supporting fish passage research and action at the Hood Canal Bridge and to encourage you to fully fund ($3.618 million) this shovel-ready project, the next phase of fish passage work at the Hood Canal Bridge.
Steelhead are Washington’s State Fish and listed as Threatened under the Endangered Species Act. Up to HALF of the juvenile steelhead that make it to the bridge will not survive past it. This recovery bottleneck is unacceptable and must be addressed without delay. At the Ballard Locks, Washingtonians waited too long to act and now steelhead are virtually extinct from that watershed. We cannot let this happen in Hood Canal, an area prized for its beauty and bountiful natural resources. This project will create jobs and save fish!
Please fully fund Hood Canal Bridge fish passage.
<your address, this is important so the legislator knows what district you are from>
Survive the Sound 2021 has 48 juvenile steelhead leaving the Duwamish, Skokomish, and Nisqually rivers. Each one of these rivers systems presents different challenges for these young fish and these issues are often related to habitat and human development in the watershed. Take a glimpse at the three rivers below.
The Duwamish River begins at the Green River in the Central Cascades Mountains and runs through the ancestral lands of the Duwamish People. Since the area’s industrialization, the lower Duwamish has become one of the most polluted rivers in the United States, it’s estuary is almost non-existent, and there is some disease in the system. Fortunately, the efforts from many organizations, businesses, and partnerships have made some progress on improving the area, but there is still much more work to be done. As you watch the tour, keep an eye out for Kellogg Island. This section of the Duwamish river has remained untouched over decades of development and remains a glimpse of historic estuary habitat. Get a glimpse of the lower watershed by watching the video below.
The Skokomish River flows from the Olympic Mountains to the south end of Hood Canal, a fjord. The Skokomish Indian Tribe has lived in this area since time immemorial. Human use of this area is primarily for forestry and farming and estuary restoration efforts have been significant. Once salmonids exit the river, they must travel north and navigate around the Hood Canal floating bridge. View the lower Skokomish River through Hood Canal in the video below.
The Nisqually River starts at the southern slope of Mt. Rainier and flows into South Puget Sound. The Nisqually Indian Tribe has stewarded this area long before the colonization of North America and the Tribe continues to care for this land. Over 900 acres of Nisqually estuary habitat has been restored and remains protected as the Billy Frank Jr. Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge. However, Interstate 5 runs through the area posing a threat to natural habitat and creating a barrier to recovery and predators have taken advantage of some bottlenecks in the estuary. View the lower Nisqually through the estuary in the video below.
Thank you to LightHawk and their pilots for this beautiful aerial footage.