Strong Population Numbers Dominate, Yet…
Washington’s coast enjoys some of the best remaining habitat and the strongest salmon, steelhead, and bull trout populations in the state. Of the region’s 117 non-listed populations, abundance trends are mixed. Some populations of spring Chinook salmon and winter steelhead are declining in numbers. The abundance of coho salmon varies between years because this species is particularly susceptible to changes in ocean conditions such as the 2014-2016 marine heat wave in the Pacific Ocean. Numbers of fall Chinook, coho, and chum salmon show no specific trend over the available time period.
Two species in this region are listed under the federal Endangered Species Act: Lake Ozette sockeye salmon and bull trout populations. Lake Ozette sockeye salmon are a single population with multiple spawning aggregations. Their numbers average less than 25 percent of the recovery goal set by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Bull trout include five populations in the Olympic Peninsula region of the Coastal Recovery Unit. No recovery goals have been set for bull trout, which are managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.