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Hood Canal Nearshore Juvenile Fish Use Assessment

Hood Canal Nearshore Juvenile Fish Use Assessment

Location:Hood Canal 3

Hood Canal, Admiralty Inlet, and the Strait of Juan de Fuca

Project Type:




Start Date:

January 2016

Completion Date:



Wild Fish Conservancy has initiated an extensive three-year nearshore fish use study in Hood Canal, Admiralty Inlet, and the Strait of Juan de Fuca. This project is a continuation of WFC’s previous pilot study which took place in Hood Canal in the winters of 2012 and 2013. These nearshore environments provide crucial rearing grounds and migration corridors for juvenile salmonids as they prepare for the open water conditions of the greater Puget Sound and the Pacific Ocean. Currently, there is a lack of information regarding when and where salmonids are using different nearshore habitat types in Hood Canal and neighboring basins, which makes prioritizing habitat restoration and protection opportunities difficult. To address this, WFC biologists and volunteers began documenting outmigration patterns of juvenile salmonids at sample sites throughout the expansive study region, through a combination of beach seining and fyke netting. Forty sample sites have been selected throughout the study area representing a variety of habitat types, and will be sampled weekly from January to June over a three year period. Habitat data, paired with data from previous studies, will be used to construct statistical models to describe how and when salmon and other fish species use these nearshore environments. Additonally, fin clips will be taken from juvenile chum and Chinook salmon for genetic analysis which may identify their river of origin.

Goals & Objectives:

- Address major data gaps in the abundance, spatial distribution, species composition and the timing of juvenile salmonid out-migration.
- Lead to science-driven policy decisions, steering restoration and protection projects toward the most critical nearshore habitats which are vital to the health and sustainability of these populations.

Primary Habitat Impacted By Project:

Nearshore areas of Hood Canal – rearing and migration corridor for ESA-listed chum salmon, steelhead, and Chinook salmon as well as pink salmon, coho salmon, cutthroat trout, and numerous marine species.

Project Contact:

Micah Wait

Managing Agency/Organization:

Wild Fish Conservancy

Budget or Project Cost:


Funding Source/Partners:

-Salmon Recovery Funding
-Hood Canal Coordinating Council
-Northwest Watershed Institute
-Port Gamble S’Klallam Tribe
-U.S. Navy


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