News: Blog

Photo of two scientists in knit caps leaning over the side of an open boat, holding up a submerged hemlock branch with a weight attached.

Recovering Herring Stocks Through Indigenous Practices

Following major findings from the Salish Sea Marine Survival Project about the important connections between healthy herring and salmon populations, Long Live the Kings is working with Tribal and other partners on methods to study and recover declining Puget Sound herring stocks. Because the loss of eelgrass and kelp beds has degraded herring spawning habitat, the Nisqually and Port Gamble S’Klallam Tribes are testing traditional techniques used by Indigenous coastal people to encourage herring spawn by sinking evergreen trees in nearshore areas. More forage fish, such as herring, helps salmon survival by providing both a nutritious food source for young salmon, and alternative prey for birds and mammals that otherwise feed on juvenile salmon themselves. Read on for an excerpt from our funders at the SeaDoc Society about the ecological and cultural importance of herring and what we’re hoping to learn from this project. Find the full article at the link below.

Nisqually Tribe and LLTK biologists deploy recycled Christmas trees in Puget Sound near the mouth of the Nisqually River, hoping to document herring spawn in future surveys.

Herring spawning stock has been in decline for decades and the concurrent lack of diverse spawning sites could have big implications on the Puget Sound and Salish Sea ecosystems. It’s an issue in urgent need of attention and action. 

Herring are especially important to juvenile salmonids as post-hatch larvae and small juveniles, with larger juveniles and adults being important to larger juvenile, and then adult salmon, said Paul McCollum, the Port Gamble S’Klallam Tribe’s natural resources manager. 

“Elders here talked a lot about the magic in January and February, that when the herring came into the bay to spawn, the whole world woke up, with salmon coming in to eat the herring, ducks, marine birds and many other fish. It was a very big deal,” he said. “Now the herring in Port Gamble Bay are a very small fraction of what they used to be, which is likely a major issue for the crisis in salmonid stocks here in Puget Sound.”

With salmon and herring so inextricably linked in the food web, recovering salmon and the Southern Resident orcas that rely on them is directly tied to the recovery of herring. 

“We launched the Salish Sea Marine Survival Project with our partners at the Pacific Salmon Foundation 10 years ago because we knew that there were major unanswered questions about which factors were limiting early marine survival for Salish Sea salmon,” said Jacques White, executive director of Long Live the Kings. “The finding that herring stocks were so important for salmon growth and survival has led us to focus on these herring recovery efforts with our Tribal partners as a critical piece for salmon and the Puget Sound ecosystem.”

Read the full article from the SeaDoc Society.

Photograph of a road covered in running water, with yellow trees along one side brightly lit by the sun. A chum salmon is swimming, half-submerged, across the road's surface, towards the brushy undergrowth on the other side.

Salmon and Floods

Our hearts are with everyone affected by the flooding in Washington and British Columbia this week. Intense rains and floods in the Northwest are becoming more common, a consequence of climate change. Major flooding is also a concern for struggling salmon populations. Fast-moving floodwaters can scour riverbeds, washing away salmon nests and juveniles in the gravel. At the same time, heavy loads of sediment washing into streams from runoff or landslides can smother eggs and fry. 

Pacific salmon are adapted to dynamic rivers where flooding is a natural ecological process. Floods help shape habitat diversity that salmon need in their spawning rivers, creating log jams, side channels, and wetlands that are part of a healthy ecosystem. Human changes to the landscape, however, make it harder to absorb the impacts of flooding, at the same time as the warming climate means more rain and more severe floods. Deforestation makes hillsides more prone to erosion and landslides, which dump sediment into spawning habitat. Former floodplains drained for development or farming mean less room for floodwaters to spread out and slow down, putting both human infrastructure and salmon nests in harm’s way.

Photo of a road through an autumn forest, covered in several inches of running water brightly lit by the sun. A chum salmon is swimming across the road, surrounded by splashing water as it swims.
A chum salmon swims across the flooded road in the Skokomish Valley.

Along the Skokomish River, near our Hood Canal field station, the shallow stream channel naturally overflows during heavy fall rains. Today, this means the increasingly common sight of salmon crossing flooded roads in the valley. When the floodwaters recede, these fish are often stranded, unable to find their way back to the stream and their spawning grounds. For salmon populations already at risk, the combined effects of development and increasing floods are cause for serious concern.

In addition to taking action to limit climate change, communities and scientists are using green infrastructure to increase flood resilience for both salmon and people. Habitat restoration projects combat erosion and create areas where water can slow down and be safely stored in wetlands. Programs like Floodplains by Design work locally to protect farms and infrastructure from flooding, improving salmon habitat at the same time. Urban rain gardens store and clean stormwater before it reaches streams. These strategies work with natural systems to manage the risks from flooding, with mutual benefits for salmon runs and sustainable communities.

LLTK is concerned about the impacts these events have on salmon and steelhead as we face the reality that they are occurring more frequently. That is why we work with the Puget Sound Salmon Recovery Council, Tribes, local governments and businesses, our state legislature and Congress to identify and provide funding for the most important actions to help salmon recover and thrive in a changing climate. It’s also why we are building regional and international partnerships to better understand the impacts of climate change in both freshwater and marine environments. These recent events are a reminder of the force of nature, and how our shared decisions can affect outcomes for salmon and people.

Read more: 10 ways YOU can help salmon, including by starting your own rain garden.

Survive the Sound Native Fish Designs Request for Proposal

Project Description:

Long Live the Kings (LLTK), a Seattle-based nonprofit organization dedicated to restoring wild salmon and steelhead and supporting sustainable fishing, is seeking Native artists to illustrate new fish designs to be entered in the 2022 Survive the Sound fish race. Survive the Sound is an annual education and outreach campaign dedicated to raising awareness about salmon and steelhead in the Pacific Northwest. Participants choose from 48 illustrated fish, representing data from real fish, to track during a 5-day migration each May. These fish designs seek to provide a visual representation of Native art in Survive the Sound and increase learning relevancy for Puget Sound students about Indigenous perspectives on salmon and salmon recovery. LLTK may reproduce the final image online, in printable educational materials, and on products including Survive the Sound apparel.

How to Apply:

Please email the following details to Jack McDermott (

  • Name & contact information
  • A brief statement explaining your connection to Pacific Northwest tribes and why you want to do this work.
  • Past artwork, portfolio, or relevant work experience.
  • Preferred deliverable option (see below)

Your application will be reviewed by staff from LLTK, Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission, and Salmon Defense. We intend to select both a youth artist (under 18) and an adult artist (over 18) to commission one final fish design each.

Due Date: Proposal is due December 31, 2021, and the final design by selected artists will be due January 31, 2022.

Deliverables & Compensation:

  • Option 1: Artist designs fish avatar by hand (any medium acceptable) for LLTK’s illustrator to digitize. Artist will work with LLTK & illustrator to create an accurate representation of artist’s design in a vector file format. Artist will deliver a scanned PDF or high-quality image of illustrated fish design. Artist receives compensation of $150.
  • Option 2: Artist designs fish avatar and delivers digital vector file. Artist may need to work with LLTK to ensure avatar reflects the general Survive the Sound style and follows the appropriate formatting guidelines. Artist will deliver a vector file (Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop, etc.) with fish design of at least 800×300 pixels and at high resolution (300 ppi). Artist receives compensation of $250.

How to Design Your Fish Avatar: Use the following template (link here) to draft or illustrate your fish design. Your avatar’s design should follow the general shape of the reference fish, but creativity is encouraged! Visit this page to reference previous fish avatar designs. A draft fish design is not required upon application.


Outdoor photo of four children in hooded raincoats facing away from the camera, standing on logs to look over a fence at a forest creek.

Where to See Salmon in Washington State

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!

Tips for Salmon Viewing

  • 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. Learn how to spot a redd.

  • Polarized sunglasses can make it easier to see fish in the water. 

  • 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! 

Image is a view across the Lake Washington Ship Canal from a platform with metal railings and a red metal box, looking over several docked sailboats and fishing vessels towards trees, buildings, and boats on the opposite shoreline.

Heat Wave: Seattle salmon face lethal water temperatures on a challenging migration

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. 

Line graph charting temperatures at four depth levels in Lake Washington Ship Canal. Between June 29 and July 9, surface temperatures (at 18ft depth) are consistently above 72 degrees, marked as the lethal threshold for salmon.

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. 

Image looking down on the surface of dark water. A brown harbor seal's head emerges in the center, with the tail half of a salmon in its mouth, ending in torn orange flesh.
Heat-stressed salmon are easy prey for harbor seals in the Ballard Locks.

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.

Image of five adult sockeye salmon viewed through a greenish glass. The fish on the bottom has a large gash on its back.
Sockeye in the Ballard Locks fish ladder in late July, as dangerously warm waters persist.

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.

Update 6/21/2022: The Lake Washington Ship Canal work group is completing a review process before releasing its report on preliminary recommendations for improving fish passage. We look forward to sharing the published report later this year.

Logo: King County Department of Natural Resources and Parks; Wastewater Treatment Division
Lake Washington Cedar Sammamish Watershed logo
Underwater photo of steelhead trout swimming in the same direction.

Live Fish Camera

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.

A rocky stream runs freely underneath a new bridge with a low guard rail. Tall trees on both banks are interspersed with blue plant guards marking new plants. Three buildings with peaked roofs are int he background among trees.

Barrier Removal Brings Coho Back to Streams

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.

Culvert before restoration: a wide pipe emerging from a steep hillside spilling water several feet into a stream below. A person in a blue jacket and grey hat stands to the side of the image behind branches of a tree.
Culvert site before restoration work (2016)
After restoration at the same site: a bridge with a low rail spans a v-shaped dip with a rocky stream running underneath.
Replacement bridge at the same site in 2017

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.

Immediate Impact

“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.

A coho salmon makes its way upstream in the restored area.

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!


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.

Alert: Hood Canal Bridge Fish Passage Funding at Risk

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 name>

<your address, this is important so the legislator knows what district you are from>

Survive the Sound Watershed Tours – 2021

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.

Ten Things YOU can do to Help Save Salmon

The movement to save salmon is built on many fronts. From cutting edge computer modeling with artificial intelligence to a 20-minute lesson in a 3rd grade classroom, we need progress in all areas to rebuild salmon populations for the next generation. Here are 10 things YOU can do to help save salmon and steelhead.


  1. Learn about Salmon. Salmon conservation and recovery requires us to deal with long standing problems, but new problems and solutions are regularly identified. Subscribing to the Long Live the Kings email list is an easy way to be updated on some of the latest salmon news. We send our quarterly e-news, Fishues, as well as special messages. Sign up at the bottom of this page. For students and educators, please visit our classroom page for lesson plans, videos, and more resources about salmon.


  1. Dispose of your waste properly. It’s tempting to save some time and throw everything into one garage bin, but those few seconds saved can results in environmental damage that is very difficult to undo. Get it right the first time, especially with pharmaceuticals and hazardous waste. Each city or county will have its own guidance on waste disposal, but for King County residents, follow instructions here. And, don’t forget to pick up your pet waste!


  1. Don’t drip and drive. Leaking fluids from a car or truck is often washed into our rivers, streams, and in front of our ocean beaches. These chemicals are toxic to wildlife and extremely difficult and expensive to remove from the water. Get your vehicle running right and help save salmon by following the tips here.


  1. Be RainWise. Water from storms can wash pollutants into lakes, creek, and Puget Sound. RainWise is a rebate program that helps eligible property owners manage stormwater by installing rain gardens and/or cisterns on private property. This prevents flooding, adds attractive landscaping, and can provide water for summer irrigation. If you don’t have space for a rain garden, consider adding native plants to your yard. Native plants are naturally adapted to your local climate, weather, soil types, and rainfall so they don’t need extra watering, fertilizers, or pesticides. Like a rain garden, native plants help absorb rain, hold soil, and trap runoff.


  1. Tell them how much you care. Every year, only a small fraction of the proposed habitat restoration and environmental monitoring projects are funded. Your elected officials care about salmon, steelhead, and the environment, but they are faced with hard decisions about what to do with limited funds. They need your support to create the laws and devote the funding necessary to save our salmon. Find and contact your legislators here.


  1. Understand tribal treaty rights. Since time immemorial, tribes have stewarded the Salish Sea and continue to today. Treaties guarantee tribes the rights to some natural resources, and as these resources have declined, tribes have used these rights to protect resources. Understanding this history will make you a more powerful salmon conservation advocate.


  1. Support businesses who support salmon conservation. When possible, we encourage you to purchase products and services from LLTK partners and business that support environmental conservation. View our partners here and learn more about Salmon-Safe products and services here.


  1. Buy a fishing license. We know, this one sounds counterintuitive, but sustainable fishing is critical salmon recovery. Fishing provides an opportunity to learn about the environment and build a deeper connection with this amazing resource. Between 2015 and 2017, licensing revenue contributed $12.1 million to healthy habitat. Find more info on fishing licenses here.


  1. Volunteer. Long Live the Kings and others have opportunities to volunteer your time to help save salmon. Planting trees and removing invasive species is a popular way to volunteer, but few people realize that your professional skill might be much more valuable. Graphic designs, advertisers, construction workers, web developers, and many others have service they can donate to fundraisers or provide directly to organization in-kind. Sign up to volunteer here.


  1. Donate. Your donations help Long Live the Kings launch new projects, take bold action, grow the movement to save salmon, and much more. We cannot thank our donors enough for what they have helped us accomplish. Join them here.


Are there more ways to save salmon? ABSOLUTLEY! Share your ideas below.