2017 Annual Report





We need a new ethic of place, one that has room for salmon and skyscrapers, suburbs and wilderness, Mount Rainier and the Space Needle.

Matthew Kringle, Emerald City: An Environmental History of Seattle

A Message from Jacques White

Just months ago, many of us watched as a total eclipse of the sun was visible across the entire United States for the first time in 38 years. It was a shared experience and a way to connect with each other and our shared environment; a few moments during which we simply stood and witnessed nature’s majesty together.

Natural wonders like the Great American Eclipse don’t just happen twice per century. They’re happening all around us, all the time. Here in the Northwest, we see these miracles daily in our waters, our mountains, and our forests: from a breaching Orca in Puget Sound to the faithful migration out to sea and return to natal rivers by our salmon and steelhead.

With your help, Long Live the Kings has been advancing science, improving management, and implementing solutions for salmon for more than 30 years. Over this period we’ve seen unprecedented regional growth, urbanization, and environmental impacts from a changing climate. But with a powerful force of donors, volunteers, advocates, and partners we’ve been able to leverage relationships to become a respected leader and steadying force, a deep keel amidst waves of change.

This year, we worked with the Washington State legislature to secure significant funding for the Hood Canal Bridge Assessment. Helping to mitigate high steelhead mortality and poor water quality at the intersection of two of our region’s most essential transportation and migration corridors, this effort represents one of the many ways we are working hard to seek bold solutions that balance the needs of fish and people in a rapidly urbanizing environment. At a time when divisiveness has come to characterize many discussions, this issue received strong bipartisan support.

The challenges we face today don’t require a choice between “us” and “them”, between the natural world and the developed one, between blue screens and blue skies. There is only one place we call The Northwest, and it includes all of us and all we do.

Through rigorous scientific analysis, unsurpassed expertise, and the irrepressible passion of concerned partners like you, Long Live the Kings is delivering outcomes to create a sustainable Northwest with a growing human population, a thriving economy, and strong, flourishing salmon runs.

Thank you for joining us on this important journey!

Jacques White, LLTK Executive Director


Our Impact

Fish Returned
Project Sites
Field Scientists
Visitors Annually
Fish/yr for Harvest

2017 Highlights

Click on a project below to learn about some of the ways Long Live the Kings is working to build a future that balances the needs of fish and people.



“Long Live the Kings plays a crucial role—bringing together researchers of various disciplines to ensure that the whole problem is addressed, rather than parts of the problem being studied in isolation—and increasing the potential to uncover viable solutions.”
—Megan Moore, Research Fisheries Biologist, NOAA/Northwest Fisheries Science Center

How does infrastructure impact an ecosystem?

If you live in the Pacific Northwest, you’ve likely driven across the serpentine expanse of the Hood Canal bridge, that vital transportation link connecting the Olympic and Kitsap Peninsulas. It’s the longest floating bridge in the world located in a saltwater basin, and on peak summer days as many as 20,000 people traverse its 1.5 mile span. What travelers may not realize—as their cars zoom over the waters of Hood Canal—is that millions of young steelhead are fighting for survival in the depths below.

Recent studies have shown that 65% of juvenile, ESA-listed steelhead migrating from their natal streams past the Hood Canal bridge do not make it to the Strait of Juan de Fuca. Strong evidence suggests that the bridge itself is acting as a migration barrier and driving this mortality.

Long Live the Kings, in partnership with the Hood Canal Coordinating Council, Tribes, and State and Federal agencies, is working to pinpoint the causes of steelhead mortality at the Hood Canal Bridge, and to gauge the bridge’s effect on water quality, through the Hood Canal Bridge Ecosystem Impact Assessment.

2017 project highlights:

  • Scientists followed steelhead past the bridge, mapped predator behavior, and evaluated light and noise and water constrictions caused by the bridge, data that will be combined to determine precisely how the bridge leads to steelhead mortality. New information about how water flows past the bridge was also collected to evaluate the bridge’s impact on water quality.
  • In a display of regional commitment and bipartisan support, the Washington State Legislature allotted $750K dollars for this project in the biennial state operating budget. This adds to significant support provided by the Laird Norton Family Foundation, Salmon Recovery Funding Board, Hood Canal Coordinating Council, EPA and the Port Gamble S’Klallam Tribe.
  • Our new campaign Survive the Sound, and related media coverage, brought attention to the problems steelhead encounter at the bridge.

Looking ahead to 2018: 

  • Data will again be collected in 2018. As the assessment progresses, the project team will test, refine, and ultimately implement a suite of management actions to address adverse impacts without jeopardizing the function of the bridge as a major transportation fixture.
  • Survive the Sound will reach a broader audience and bring our new steelhead tracking data from 2017 to continue to tell the story of steelhead and the bridge.

Hood Canal Bridge Assessment

Raised for Phase 1
Project Partners
Tribal Fishing Areas Affected
People Engaged via Social



“The only way to study a problem of this magnitude is with a large, collaborative, international effort involving close coordination among dozens of fisheries management agencies working together. LLTK’s Salish Sea Marine Survival Project is doing just that.”
—Mike Crewson, Salmon Enhancement Biologist, Tulalip Tribes

Getting to the bottom of low salmon survival in the Salish Sea.

Deep in the waters of the Salish Sea, tiny creatures may hold answers to a riddle that’s confounded salmon managers for decades. Why are young out-migrating fish dying in the marine waters of Puget Sound and the Strait of Georgia?

Researchers are studying zooplankton, the cornerstone of the marine food web and a sensitive link between the physical and biological environments. Zooplankton can provide new understanding about how physical stressors—manmade and natural, global and local—influence food availability, fish productivity, and the health of Puget Sound as a whole.

Zooplankton monitoring is one of more than 80 individual studies being carried out in conjunction with the Salish Sea Marine Survival Project, a massive U.S. and Canadian effort, coordinated by Long Live the Kings, to determine why the survival of juvenile Chinook, coho, and steelhead has declined significantly in our shared marine waters since the 1980s. The project is a model for ecosystem-scale collaborative science; its results will facilitate smarter management and stronger salmon and steelhead returns.

2017 research highlights:

  • New finding: The survival of coho and some Chinook is strongly correlated with zooplankton composition. This means that the type of food available when a fish is young can be an indicator of whether or not it will survive.
  • A parasite (Nanophyetus) affecting outmigrating steelhead was found at high levels in 2014. In 2017, a novel environmental DNA screen was developed to identify the parasite in water samples. The next step is to characterize the watersheds where the parasite exists at high levels, identifying hot spots where a species of snail (Juga) harbor the parasite as an intermediate host. Once hot spots are identified, approaches can be taken to cut the parasite’s life cycle.

Looking ahead to 2018: 

  • A Salish Sea Synthesis Committee will  direct the culmination of the numerous studies in this project.
  • Field and lab work will continue. While we are 4 years in, the work – including data analysis – is 25% complete. As we continue our work, we are witnessing anomalies that are helping us solve the mystery of poor salmon survival. For example, over 40% of out-migrating steelhead survived to the ocean from the Nisqually River in 2016, while as few as 6% survived in years past.
  • Food web research will seek to answer numerous questions, for example: Are important prey, such as crab and herring, changing and less available for our juvenile salmon? If so, why?

Marine Survival Project

Research Complete
Funds Raised
Scientific Papers Published
Studies Throughout the Salish Sea



“After I presented at the 2017 Salmon Recovery Conference on our Survive the Sound campaign, the LLTK booth was mobbed with people who wanted to sponsor fish. I had the distinct feeling that we had found a way to connect with a vast new source of support for salmon and their recovery. And we have.”
—Jacques White, LLTK Executive Director

Pairing recovery with technology to engage new generations of salmon advocates.

From May 9-19, in households, classrooms, and offices around our region, people were glued to their phones, tablets and computers, experiencing something remarkable: the annual migration of young steelhead from their natal streams to the Pacific Ocean. Experiencing the behavior of real fish in their native environment, sponsors of these intrepid travelers were able to monitor their progress, learn about the obstacles they encounter along their journeys, create “schools” with friends and compete for prizes. It was the pilot year of our new campaign Survive the Sound, the first ever endurance race for wild steelhead, and an interactive way to engage a new generation of salmon enthusiasts.

Steelhead are vital to Puget Sound and their survival trends can signal deeper issues within the surrounding ecosystem. Unfortunately, the number of Puget Sound steelhead has declined significantly over the past century and they’re now listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. There is serious concern that the iconic Washington State Fish will slip into extinction.

Long Live the Kings developed Survive the Sound to educate the public about the pressures facing steelhead in our region; to help build support for recovery programs; and ultimately to help turn the tide for steelhead. The “game” utilizes data collected from actual fish fitted with GPS tags to allow them to be tracked and monitored as they out-migrate. The 2017 pilot year was a resounding success, with nearly 700 participants sponsoring over 1,000 steelhead.

2017 highlights:

  • Increased awareness of LLTK and our mission among the general public in the Pacific Northwest.
  • Educated participants and the public about the issues facing steelhead, via the game itself and associated media coverage.
  • More than 60% of post-game survey respondents indicated that they had a better understanding about steelhead’s lifecycle as a result of participating in the campaign.

Looking ahead to 2018:

  • The Survive the Sound experience is being enhanced.
  • We are boldly targeting over 6,000 additional steelhead sponsors.
  • A no-cost education version is being developed, and we are aiming for placement in over 100 classrooms.
  • A broad slate of foundation and corporate sponsors will help us bring Survive the Sound to a wider audience.

Survive the Sound

Fish Sponsored
Smiles Spread
Total People Reached

More LLTK Projects:

Chinook Adaptive Management | Steelhead Recovery Planning | Glenwood Springs

Hood Canal Steelhead Hood Canal Summer Chum

Stakeholder Stories

Click on the names below to expand the personal stories of some of the stakeholders who support Long Live the Kings’ work.


MARK RIEDESEL, President, Puget Sound Anglers, Bellingham Chapter

“I grew up sport fishing with my dad and my brother. Almost every weekend led us to the water. This is something I cherished being able to experience with my dad and that I cherish every bit as much being able to share with my own children.”


Salmon have been an interest since I was a kid, fishing with my dad. Our target species changed with the seasons. In the summer and fall you’d find us in a 14ft skiff fishing for salmon and steelhead from the mouth of the Cowlitz to the Cathlamet region of the Lower Columbia; as winter came we’d search for steelhead in the Kalama and Elochoman Rivers; then with spring we’d once again be back on the Columbia in pursuit of returning salmon.

This ritual never got old and my fascination with fish and fishing kept growing. When I moved to Bellingham for college, I found myself exploring the fishing that Whatcom, Skagit and Island Counties had to offer. Now, my occupation deals with salmon directly, as I manage a small seafood shop that buys and sells local salmon.

From the sport-fishing perspective, salmon are an important part of my life that I want to share with my children and hopefully their children. I would hate to see salmon decline to a point where my children will no longer be able to go fishing. From an employment side, being able to harvest salmon at a sustainable level allows me to work within an industry I love. Because my livelihood is dependent on strong returns, the declines we’ve seen raise real concerns for me as to where my industry might be headed in the future.

But Long Live the Kings’ work—especially what they’re doing at Glenwood Springs—gives me hope. When I toured Glenwood last fall, what I saw truly amazed me. It’s a salmon hatchery with earthen ponds, no bird predation control, and a gravity-fed system that eliminates the need to pump water. To top it all off, it’s operated by one employee with the help of community volunteers! Put all of that together and you get 750,000 king salmon being released annually for sustainable fishing, without endangering wild stocks.

I support Long Live the Kings because: I come from a fishing family and I’ve raised my own family of fishers. It’s who we are and what we do. The promise of LLTK’s work is that fishing will continue to be a part of my family for future generations.

SIERRA LEONE BOONE, Tom Douglas Restaurants

“I was born and raised in Brinnon, on Hood Canal. I moved away at 18, because growing up in a town with a population of 803 gives you a special kind of motivation to see the rest of the world. I now live in Seattle but I return to the Canal often to visit my family and to take in the natural beauty of my home.”


Hood Canal is a really beautiful place; it has all these little tidbits and treasures for anyone who seeks them out. I remember in high school my friend and I would wait until high tide and jump off the trestle that crosses the Duckabush River which feeds into the Canal. When we’d jump at night we’d see the bioluminescence streaking through the water around us. As an adult I think about how unique this experience was for a teenager. Some people travel across the country to see something so incredible, and here I was lucky enough to be a kid growing up in this beautiful fjord!

My family has a tradition of kayaking the Canal in the summer. We have a route we like to take and a sort of ritual for our adventure: my mother packs a feast and we shove off into the Duckabush, kayak out into the Canal, and eventually set up lunch on a secluded public shore. We indulge in a picnic, swim, lay in the sun, make art out of shells and rocks, dive for oysters and eat them on the beach. Once we’ve had our cake and eaten it too, we pack up the boats and paddle back toward home through the sloughs and up the river.

Growing up on Hood Canal gave me a firsthand understanding of why preservation is so important. Being a responsible resident of this planet is something that I’m still learning how to do better. There are little things I don’t think about until they’re brought to my attention. Like glitter. When glitter gets on the streets and goes down the drains, it washes into the soil and eventually into the rivers, lakes, and oceans. I don’t want my fish friends to be eating glitter, so I recently bought eco-friendly glitter.

I feel that these little steps are just as important as the big ones that LLTK and its partners are taking to restore salmon and steelhead in Hood Canal. I’m grateful for LLTK’s work over the decades, and for all the individuals who give their time and skills to make the recovery of Hood Canal and its inhabitants effective and successful.

I support Long Live the Kings because: we all have a part to play in preserving the special places and species that make the Northwest home. I want my nephew to be able to have brilliant experiences in the natural world like I did when I was growing up.

MIKE CREWSON, Salmonid Enhancement Scientist, Tulalip Tribes

“The Tulalip Tribes depend on hatchery returns for upwards of 90% of our salmon harvest in order to fulfill our treaty fishing opportunities. We also share—with the State of Washington—the responsibility for managing natural salmon stocks in our region. We take this responsibility very seriously.” 


In recent years we have seen the lowest returns on record of wild and hatchery Chinook and coho, which has us deeply concerned, both as co-managers and as a Tribe trying to exercise our treaty rights.

While marine survival used to be somewhat consistent, and we were able to count on wild and hatchery returns to be somewhat commensurate with the numbers of parents and subsequent juveniles that went to the ocean, recent returns have been greatly reduced, unpredictable, and have fluctuated wildly.

This has wreaked havoc on the salmon recovery efforts that we’ve put millions of dollars and countless hours into, and it has nearly eliminated our harvest, which is almost entirely dependent on hatchery production. We desperately need to get a handle on what is causing this crash in salmon and steelhead survival—and grossly inconsistent returns.

I support Long Live the Kings because: the only way to study a problem of this magnitude is with a large, collaborative, international effort involving close coordination among dozens of fisheries management agencies working together. LLTK’s Salish Sea Marine Survival Project is doing just that.

EMILY LION GAUS, 7th Grader, Survive the Sound Campaign Participant

Emily Lion Gaus is a 7th grader who lives with her family in Seattle’s Wallingford neighborhood. This spring Emily participated in the pilot year of our campaign Survive the Sound, the first ever endurance race for wild steelhead.


I sponsored Speedy the salmon. I chose Speedy in memory of Speedy, my beta fish, who died just before Survive the Sound started. I also sponsored Salmon Ella, Swedish Fish, and SkaWel. Salmon Ella was the only one who made it to the Pacific Ocean. I was so happy when I heard that she had survived her journey!

I support Survive the Sound because: it’s really fun and salmon are an important part of the marine ecosystem (and also very tasty!).

Honoring Jim

“Thirty years of work, one million fish returned, over 250 partners, and more than 125 project sites: who knows if any of this would have ever happened if it weren’t for LLTK’s bold, can-do thinking inspired by Jim?”

—Bob Jirsa, LLTK Board Chairman

Jim Youngren Steps Down from the Board after Three Decades

In 1978, Jim Youngren, a real estate entrepreneur born with a rod and reel in his hand, began raising Chinook salmon in natural ponds on his Orcas Island property, isolated from wild salmon populations which only spawn on the mainland.

When asked about Jim’s success building a hatchery, his wife Kathy Youngren said, “He dreamed it and here it is… he never, ever, for one second thought that this whole thing wouldn’t turn out just exactly how it has.”

Jim’s think-big and make-it-work attitude has helped supplement sport and commercial fisheries from Washington to Alaska while using sustainable and cutting-edge hatchery practices.

Jim spent many years in the real-estate development business, specializing in urban redevelopment projects in the Northwest. In 1979, along with Weyerhaeuser Real Estate Company, he cofounded the Cornerstone Development Company, but his ambitions were not limited to the world of real estate.

Shortly after Long Live the Kings took over operations of the hatchery in 1986, the organization began operating two additional hatcheries: one on Wishkah River near Grays Harbor and another on Lilliwaup Creek along Hood Canal. These facilities embodied Jim’s vision by developing innovative techniques that mitigate the negative impacts of hatchery rearing on wild fish populations, and using those approaches to bring wild populations back from the brink of extinction.

As LLTK matured and grew as an organization, it continued to reflect Jim’s example of bold thinking.In 2014, LLTK and our Canadian partners, the Pacific Salmon Foundation, established the Salish Sea Marine Survival Project, a sophisticated international endeavor to investigate the decline of salmon and steelhead in the combined waters of Puget Sound and the Strait of Georgia. In 2017, we presented the pilot year of Survive the Sound, an interactive game that engages the public in steelhead recovery in a fresh new way.

In addition to his work in salmon recovery, Jim has also served on the board of trustees for the Bullitt Foundation. He cofounded the Children’s Trust Foundation and has been a prominent figure of the Orcas Island community.

Jim steps down this year from his place at the helm of the LLTK Board of Directors but he will continue to play a role in the organization as President Emeritus, and we will be forever grateful for—and inspired by—his vision, unwavering support, and passion for the fish.


2016 Partners

Thank you to our 2016 project partners. For a complete list of individual, corporate, and in-kind donors, please download our 2017 Printed Annual Report.



City of Bellingham

City of Seattle

Clallam County

Cramer Fish Sciences

Dukes Chowder House

Environmental Protection Agency

Enviro Issues

Fisheries and Oceans Canada

Friends of Moran State Park

Hamma Hamma Company

Hook Environmental

Integral Consulting

Island County

Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe

Jefferson County

Kalispel Tribe of Indians

Kara Nelson Consulting

King County

Kitsap County

Klickitat County


Lake Washington/Cedar/Sammamish Watershed (WRIA 8)

Lilliwaup Falls Generating Company

Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe

Lummi Nation

Mason County

Mobrand  – D. Warren and Associates

Moran State Park

Muckleshoot Tribe

National Fish and Wildlife Foundation

Nisqually Tribe

NOAA Fisheries

Nooksack Tribe

Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission

Northwest Marine Technology

Ocean Networks Canada

Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife

Pacific Crest Seafoods

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

Pacific Northwest Salmon Center

Pacific Salmon Commission

Pacific Salmon Foundation

Pierce County

Point-No-Point Treaty Council

Port Gamble S’Klallam Tribe

Port of Seattle

Puget Sound Partnership & Salmon Recovery Council

Puyallup Tribe

Robbins Family

San Juan County

Seattle City Light

Skagit County

Skagit System Cooperative

Skagit Watershed Council

Skokomish Tribal Nation


Snake River Salmon Recovery Board

Snohomish County

Squaxin Island Tribe

State of Washington (legislature)

Stillaguamish Tribe

Tacoma Power

The Nature Conservancy

The SeaDoc Society / UC Davis

Thurston Conservation District

Thurston County

Trout Unlimited

Tulalip Tribes

University of British Columbia

University of Victoria

University of Washington

Upper Columbia Salmon Recovery Board

US Fish and Wildlife Service

US Forest Service

US Geological Survey

US Navy

Washington Department of Ecology

Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife

Washington Department of Natural Resources

Washington Department of Transportation

Washington Salmon Coalition

Washington Sea Grant

Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office & Salmon Recovery Funding Board

Washington State University

Western Washington University

Whatcom County

Wild Fish Conservancy

Wild Salmon Center

Yakima Basin Fish and Wildlife Recovery Board

YMCA Camp Orkila

2016 Financials

Revenue | Expenses*

Revenue: $2,443,482  |  Expenses: $2,427,098

      *Financial information from 2016 Federal 990 Report


      Funding Sources

      International Commission: $587,524

      Federal Government: $256,310

      State Government: $581,291

      Local Government (including Tribes): $72,891

      Foundation: $519,242

      Nonprofit: $37,216

      Private: $383,008

       Learn More:

      LLTK 2017 Annual Report |  Meet our Board | Meet our Staff


      Your gift to LLTK is an investment in the future of salmon. The return on that investment is healthy wild fish, swimming in wild rivers, amidst a growing human population and a vibrant economy. Make your tax-deductible gift today. Thank you.