Hoko River

Protecting the Hoko River estuary on Washington's Olympic Peninsula
Mouth of the Hoko River, Washington.
Mouth of the Hoko River, Washington.
Photography | Hoko River Mouth Retreat
Peregrine falcon
Peregrine falcon
Photography | USFWS
Hoko River, Washington
Hoko River, Washington
Photography | Stephanie Ovdiyenko

Estuaries are the most biologically productive aspect of a river system, and the Hoko River Estuary fits that description. The Hoko originates in the peaks of the Olympic Peninsula and flows for 25 miles before emptying into the Strait of Juan de Fuca. Western Rivers Conservancy worked with the Washington Department of Parks & Recreation to purchase the 115-acre site from Crown Pacific, Ltd.

The Hoko Estuary contains subtidal and intertidal areas, wetlands, a large oxbow channel and riparian forests. These habitats are important to Hoko River salmon and steelhead, shellfish, eagles, osprey and peregrine falcons, among others. The estuary is especially critical to anadromous fish that rear in the brackish waters, along with marine species of fish that spawn there.

In addition, the site encompasses a 1,500-year old Makah fishing camp. The Washington Department of Parks and Recreation now manages the area. The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service contributed funds to help purchase the property.

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