Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe

The Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe lives on the north coast of the Olympic Peninsula, west of Port Angeles, in the lower Elwha River valley. The land was proclaimed the Lower Elwha Reservation in 1968, and the current tribal lands include approximately a thousand acres. Currently, the tribe has 985 enrolled members, with 395 living on the reservation.

Lower Elwha Klallam Area of Concern:

The tribe's restoration efforts are focused in the Dungeness-Elwha watershed (WRIA 18). Due to funding shortfalls, recovery efforts in this region are behind schedule. The recovery plan developed by the North Olympic Peninsula Lead Entity (NOPLE) priotized hydrologic regimes, sediment supply, canopy cover, water quality, river hydrodynamics, and nutrient input. Population growth and development are major challenges to restoration. The population in Clallam County grew 28% between 1986 and 2006, and the number of wells increased by 275%.

Natural Resource Management:

  • Removal of the Elwha River Dam is the largest such project in the country. The tribe has been involved in every step of the process, and documents it on their website. In 2010, they received the Conservation Organization of the Year Award from the Washington-British Columbia Chapter of the American Fisheries Society.
  • In 2011, the tribe began tracking river otters and American dippers to monitor the effect of the Elwha dam and Glines Canyon dam, which was also removed. These species depend heavily on nutrients brought upriver by salmon.
  • The tribe also took measurements to determine how the sediment built up behind the two dams would affect the lower river and estuary environment, which is crucial salmon habitat.
  • In 2009, the tribe started a three-year research study to gather information on Roosevelt elk populations in the Elwha River valley, with the goal of developing a longer-term monitoring program for elk herds.

Map of Tribal Lands

Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe
2851 Lower Elwha Road
Port Angeles,WA 98363
Phone: (360) 452-8471
Fax: (360) 452-3428

51 Hatchery Road
Port Angeles,WA 98363

Chairperson: Frances Charles
Fisheries Contact: Doug Morrill
Website: www.elwha.org

source: NWIFC