By Steve Hartridge
Salmon are an icon of the USA's Pacific Northwest and witnessing their epic journey is an unbeatable way to tap into the spirit of the region.
In fact, salmon are such a 'keystone species' and play such an integral role that they take centre stage in many stories of the local native peoples of the Puget Sound and present conservation efforts for locals.
The annual migration of five species of salmon - coho, chook, sockeye, chum and pink - takes place every year between August and November - in the rivers that feed into Puget Sound in the Seattle Southside area: the Duwamish, Green, and Cedar Rivers.
The belief of First Nations is that salmon are immortal, their souls reborn into a new body each year, however the runs were not a promised guarantee and legend has it that should people "behave inappropriately and anger the salmon", the fish may not return to those waters. Visitors can catch the annual migration as the salmon make their way to the stream where they were spawned, traveling hundreds of miles to do so. They can observe salmon at the world-famous Ballard Locks, located in Seattle in the Lake Washington Ship Canal that connects Lake Washington to the Puget Sound, as well as witnessing the journey up smaller creeks and streams and visiting salmon hatcheries. There is also a number of excellent options for trying super-fresh Salmon in area restaurants, which receive the local salmon daily.
They can also partake in this spectacular natural event with guidance from an aquarium naturalist and the Salmon Days festival each autumn.
At Duwamish Gardens, a 2.34-acre park in Tukwila and salmon habitat restoration site about 11 miles from Seattle, spot pink salmon from July through August, chook and coho salmon in September and chum in November. And while you are there, see the artworks relating to the history of the First Nations who lived on the land.
Posted by: State of Washington Tourism
Posted on: 29/11/2023