National Geographic : 2004 Jul
WHEN TO GO Watch Spawning Salmon Olympic National Park's fish-hungry grizzly rivers, some of the last bears-they don't live undisturbed salmon in the region. habitat in the Pacific Over 50 populations Northwest, offer excel- of coho, sockeye, chum, lent opportunities to pink, and chinook observe spawning Pacific salmon return from the salmon. And you don't Pacific Ocean to their have to worry about natal Olympic rivers and streams to spawn. Their spawning season varies, but fall is the best time to view them. In mid-October, bright red male summer cohos pair with females to fertilize eggs in gravel nests they build in the Sol Duc River (above). From November to Jan uary, sockeye salmon (left) spawn in Big Creek in the Quinault River Valley. And from November to Decem ber, fall chinook, the largest Pacific salmon averaging 36 inches and 22 pounds-spawn in the Hoh River. For more details about when and where to watch Pacific salmon, go to nps.gov/olym/ invspawn.htm. Restoring Elwha River's Ecosystem In 2007 demolition of the Elwha and Glines Canyon dams will begin, the first step in restoring Olympic's largest water shed after almost a cen tury. Officials hope to restore access to more than 70 miles of stream habitat-enough to support over 300,000 sea-run fish, including descendants of the 100 pound chinook that once inhabited the river. WEBSITE EXCLUSIVE Get the goods on Olympic the who, what, when, and how of traveling there-at nationalgeographic.com/ magazine/0407. GET INVOLVED Bust Plant Poachers Tolearn more about a subject covered inthis issue, try these National Geographic Society products and services. Call 1-888 -225-5647 or log on to nationalgeographic.com for more information. NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC At most parks, rangers worry about protect ing resources from en croaching development and tourist hordes. At Olympic, they're more concerned about plant thieves. Poachers have been known to take everything from mosses to old-growth cedars here. The top illegal crop is salal (left), a shrub whose stalks are popular in Europe as filler in floral arrangements. "We recently apprehended pickers with about a thousand stalks of salal," says special agent Glen Melville. If you see signs of poachers, such as rubber bands (used to secure bunches of stalks) littering the side of the road, notify a ranger. Pickers often return to the same spot. FROM THE SOCIETY * Olympic National Park Trails Illustrated Map. Atear-resistant topographic map to help you find your way-and it's waterproof (essential for frequent rains). Map high lights hiking trails, fishing holes, campgrounds, and other places of interest ($9.95). * Guide to the National Parks of the United States. Learn more about Olympic. The book includes suggested drives for sampling the park's diverse ecosystems ($24.95). * TOPOI Washington CD-ROM set. Seamless statewide coverage allows you to design and print your own USGS topo map centered on any spot in the Olympic region, then customize it with routes, Web links, photos, and optional 3-D relief ($99.95).