Salmon in the Dungeness

     The Dungeness River and its associated tributaries have historically supported populations of pink, chinook, coho, and chum salmon. The river and its tributaries are used throughout the year at different times and by different species for migration, rearing, and spawning.

It is especially important for its population of pink salmon which is unique in the Puget Sound area. The population of pink salmon is entirely native wild stock with no hatchery influence. Its numbers are unfortunately on the decline.

The chinook population has also decreased and is considered to be severely depressed. Attempts to augment the population by hatch and release were discontinued in 1982 due to lack of success.

Coho salmon use the upper river to spawn and the entire river for rearing. The Dungeness Fish Hatchery hatches and releases both coho and chum salmon.

     Looking upstream Salmon reproduce by swimming upstream to spawn. Salmon runs occur at various times during the year. The pink salmon has a very early run and a normally timed late run. The chinook salmon used to represent two stocks which had two discrete yearly runs. Now evidence suggests a single stock with a lengthy run period during the summer.