Quillayute River

Summary

​The Quillayute river basin is on the north coast of Washington Olympic Peninsula. The Quillayute system is made up primarily of there major tributaries. The Sol Duc, the Calawah and the Bogacheil. All of which radiate out of the temperate rain forests of Olympic National Park. The Valley is the home of the Quileute tribe, who now occupy the reservation at the rivers mouth. The first European homesteaders arrived in the 1870’s, and were set on farming among the giant tree’s despite the areas 10 plus feet of rainfall, long dark winters, and total isolation from any markets. Soon logging became the principal land use, and remains so to this day.

Native Species

  • Chum Salmon
  • Coastal Cutthroat Trout
  • Coho Salmon
  • Pink Salmon
  • Sockeye Salmon
  • Fall-chinook-salmon
  • Spring-chinook-salmon
  • Summer-steelhead
  • Dolly Varden
  • Winter-steelhead
  • Resident Rainbow Trout
  • Mountain Whitefish
  • Pacific-lamprey


Basin Stats:

North coastal Olympic Peninsula

  • Major Contributing Streams: Sol Duc, Bogacheil, Calawah
    • River Length: The Quillayute itself is only about 6 miles long, its longest tribuatary, the Sol Duc, is 78 miles long.
      • Drainage area: 850 sqaure miles
    • Main Tributary Length: Sol Duc, 78 miles
    • Secondary Tributary Length:Calawah, 31 miles, with perhaps 400 miles of perennial streams.

Threats

  • Hatcheries.
    • The Calawah has a summer and winter hatchery steelhead program.
    • The Bogacheil has a winter steelhead hatchery program.
    • The Sol Duc has a spring chinook, and summer and fall coho program.
  • Habitat degradation.
    • Although habitat was badly degraded in the early days of logging, the upper rivers are now protected by the Olympic National Park, and the lower rivers are recovering due to better logging practices.
  • Hydropower
    • There are no dams on the Quillayute System
  • Harvest
    • There is sport fishing harvest allowed on native fall Chinook, and native fall Coho. There is concern over potential hooking mortality on native winter steelhead due to the popularity of the fishery.
    • The Quileutae tribe commercially harvests all native species, this fishery amounts to close to 1 million pounds a year

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