In late October, however, the salmon come home to Twanoh Creek. This fall run of chum salmon lasts until the end of November or early December and is a spectacular sight to see. Literally thousands of these fish come home to spawn before dying in their native stream.
Twanoh Creek runs through both the upper and lower portions of the park and empties into Hood Canal at the boat launch parking lot. It provides a healthy habitat for the annual salmon run and is well-respected by folks who come to view this seasonal phenomena. Cedar rail fencing has been constructed along parts of the creek to discourage humans from getting too close. Watching as the salmon pair off and begin their reproductive dance is always remarkable, no matter how many times you see it.
The female “digs” the redd or salmon “nest” that is actually a deep narrow indentation in the creek bed, where she deposits her eggs. Males swim along behind and fertilize the cache. Human traffic in the creek bed runs the risk of putting undue pressure on the redds and compressing and killing the eggs. Be careful and resist the temptation to get too close. It’s important to preserve the safety of the redds.
Twanoh State Park
It’s hard for me to speak about this park with any real authority. We’ve only been here twice and both times that was during the off-season when the number of empty campsites far outweighs the those occupied. We literally have the place to ourselves.
However, just a look at the number of tables tipped on their sides attests to the crowds that must flock here during the summer. And there’s a large number of building that were built by the Civilian Conservation Corp to accommodate all the guests. Personally I love the old building with their use of stone and large lumber. Twanoh State Park is one of the oldest state parks in Washington. It was officially dedicated and opened to the public on June 9, 1923.
“Twanoh” is a Native American word for “gathering place.” The Skokomish Indians, a Twana tribe, made their home along Hood Canal because of its abundant wildlife. Because of this abundance, the Twana were among the few hunting/gathering societies of the world that produced wealth beyond their needs. The basis of their economy was salmon.
The park is a 182-acre marine, camping park with 3,167 feet of saltwater shoreline on Hood Canal and has 25 tent spaces, 22 full hookup spaces, six restrooms and one shower. Crowds as mentioned as not a problem in the winter…I really need to see what it’s like during the summer. If you’ve camped here during that time let me know what to expect during this time in the comments down below.
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What an amazing experience seeing the salmon run! You’re right, it never gets old.
And…..we’re fortunate to live in such a wonderful place with so much to offer the outdoor enthusiast.