'Threatened' Steelhead trout filling Hood Canal River

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by DREW MIKKELSEN / KING 5 News

NWCN.com

Posted on April 1, 2014 at 5:20 PM

Updated Wednesday, Apr 2 at 10:01 AM

NEAR HOOD CANAL, Wash. -- Steelhead may be considered a threatened species, but you wouldn't know it from looking at a river near Hood Canal Tuesday.

Biologists with the Hood Canal Steelhead Project just released about 100 Steelhead trout in the river.

The Steelhead were born in the wild, but they have been raised at a hatchery for the last four years.

Nine different state, local, tribal and non-profit organizations make up the group raising and releasing the fish.

According to Steelhead Biologist Joy Waltermire, the motivation is simple.

"Their numbers are on the way to extinction," said Waltermire, who works with non-profit Long Live the Kings.

She said in 2004 there were 10 pair of Steelhead on the river; now that number is closer to 100.

After watching the fish grow, Waltermire said it can be sad, but she knows it is worthwhile.

"I want my kids to be able to come out and see this," said Waltermire.

The biologists do not want the name of the river released.

It is illegal to fish for Steelhead along the rivers that flow into Hood Canal.

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