Making a difference for Southern Resident killer whales this Orca-tober

Orcas off Golden Gardens Park in Seattle.

Investing in healthy habitats

WDFW’s Estuary and Salmon Restoration Program (ESRP) is a grant program that provides funding and technical assistance to organizations working to restore shoreline and nearshore habitats that are important to salmon and other species in Puget Sound.

Estuaries are bodies of water where the freshwater of rivers meets the saltwater of the ocean or Puget Sound, creating an environment that is a mixture of saltwater and freshwater.
An example of a Fish Barrier Removal Board grant-funded project to expand access for migrating fish.

Sustainable fisheries management

State and tribal fisheries co-managers are working hard to protect and recover Southern Resident orcas — that includes sustainable managing Chinook and other salmon to limit impacts on the fish available to Southern Residents. Fisheries managers do this by:

  • Setting sustainable and supportive fishing seasons. Because fishing seasons are set to limit impacts on species of greatest conservation need, which has benefits to Southern Residents as well, Chinook salmon fishing tends to be particularly limited in the San Juan Islands, the Strait of Juan de Fuca, and throughout Puget Sound.
  • Targeting commercial fishing seasons. Commercial fishing seasons are planned to fall after primary foraging times in bays and rivers where the orcas aren’t present.
  • Producing more fish. Across Washington state, we’re using hatchery programs to release more juvenile salmon to support the dietary needs of Southern Residents and our salmon recovery goals.

How you can help:

Be Whale Wise: Noise makes it harder for whales to hunt successfully. Stay out of the path of orcas by at least 400 yards in front of or behind them and 300 yards on either side. Learn more at bewhalewise.org.

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The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife is dedicated to preserving, protecting and perpetuating the state’s fish and wildlife resources.

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The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife

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The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife is dedicated to preserving, protecting and perpetuating the state’s fish and wildlife resources.