By Peninsula Daily News staff
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"Coho salmon have been actively ascending the Salmon Cascades on the Sol Duc River in Olympic National Park over the last 10 days.
"This unique population of wild summer coho primarily spawns in the park.
"These fish appeared at the Salmon Cascades later than normal due to the prolonged low-flows in the river.
"We anticipate great viewing at the Salmon Cascades for another week or two.
"The recent rainfall enticed fish up into the park. We are now observing large, mature fish in the upper river, and spawning began last week.
"Olympic National Park fisheries crews will continue to monitor this population on a weekly basis through November to estimate the number of returning fish to the park.
"These surveys are conducted in coordination with Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife and the Quileute Tribe.
"A friendly reminder that the area around the Salmon Cascades (as posted) is closed to fishing."
OLYMPIC NATIONAL PARK — A summer coho salmon (photo on the right) leaps out of the water as it swims upstream against a strong current at the Sol Duc Salmon Cascades in Olympic National Park.
This photo is one of 16 taken last weekend by cinematographer John Gussman of Sequim showing the autumn wonders — from salmon to kayakers to fall foliage — of the Sol Duc area.
Seeing the salmon can be hit or miss — they're just passing through, on their way to spawn upstream.
But if you don't see any from the Cascades' viewing platform during your visit, just look around — as Gussman's photos attest, the Sol Duc is one of the most beautiful areas in Olympic National Park to take in fall's incredible majesty.
To see Gussman's photos, set up as a slide show, click on http://www.dcproductions.com/solduc .
(You'll need to have Adobe Flash to view them. Ipad users, you may have difficulties.)
Gussman is working on a documentary film about the $325 million Elwha River restoration/dam removal project. He can be reached at 360-808-6406 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can learn more about Gussman's work on the Elwha at www.elwhafilm.com .
How to watch the salmon
Coho salmon (also known as silver salmon) have been showing up for the upstream migration for several weeks now.
The Sol Duc is the only river on the North Olympic Peninsula that sees summer coho return to its waters.
The Cascades are located 28 miles west of Port Angeles.
Head south on U.S. Highway 101 at Milepost 219 into Olympic National Park on Sol Duc Hot Springs Road.
Six miles down the road you'll find the well-marked parking area for the Cascades.
There's a viewing platform from which you can watch the leaping salmon.
Or you can walk just downstream of the Cascades. That gives you a great angle to observe the salmon milling in a pool, waiting to plunge through the swirling waters.
Bring your camera, but not your fishing rod. The Cascades are closed to fishing.