Peninsula: Salmon “tagged” on Dungeness River

SEQUIM — Nearly 500,000 salmon fingerlings are being fitted with coded wire tags at the Dungeness Hatchery.

Biologists say the fish tagging is part of an elaborate project to track the migratory habits of young chinook salmon.

“This project gives fisheries managers an opportunity to track the success of our stock restoration and recovery efforts,” said Scott Chitwood, Jamestown S'Klallam tribe fisheries manager.

“If we can determine how our efforts help this stock move toward recovery, we can focus on what restoration methods are most effective.”

Dungeness River chinook are one of many Puget Sound salmon stocks listed as “threatened” under the Endangered Species Act.

The tags, being inserted this week and next into the noses of young salmon, are coded and allow biologists to track salmon migration through the use of specially designed detectors.

Jamestown S'Klallam tribal members, state Department of Fish and Wildlife personnel and volunteers are inserting the 1 mm coded steel tags this week and next.

Biologists say they can recover the tags and examine them when the salmon return to the Dungeness River in two or four years.

The tag also allows biologists to monitor the number of salmon returning to the Dungeness River. Typically, the salmon return to the Dungeness every four or five years, Chitwood said. The first tagged salmon in the Dungeness program returned last year.

Full details appear in today's edition of the Peninsula News. Click onto “Subscribe” to have your PDN delivered to your home or office.

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