It’s going to be a record year for Columbia River fall chinook. With several weeks left in this year’s run, numbers are already close to beating the previous record set 10 years ago.
Chinook salmon are returning this fall from the ocean to their native streams. And they have been keeping fish counters at Bonneville Dam busy. So far this year, fish counters have spotted more than 530,000 adult fall chinook. Fish managers say the salmon run will remain strong through September. The previous record was more than 703,000 fish in 2003. Monday also saw a record-breaking one-day total for the salmon. Stuart Ellis is scientist with the Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission. He says the strong numbers are due in part to several high spring river flows, spilling water over dams, and good ocean conditions.
Ellis: “This fall Chinook run is not only big, but it’s got a lot of natural-origin fish going to a lot of different places.”
He says fall chinook predictions are also high for the Snake River east of the Cascades and the Klamath River, which runs through Northern California and Southern Oregon.
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