Record Number Of Chinook Salmon Return To The Columbia River

Sep 10, 2014

Chinook salmon are one of four main salmon species to migrate to the Columbia River each year.
Credit Joe Parks / Flickr Creative Commons

The number of returning chinook salmon on the Columbia River has taken a dramatic upswing. Over the weekend, 107,000 chinook salmon climbed the fish ladder at Bonneville dam.

A spokeswoman with the Columbia Inter Tribal Fish Commission, Sara Thompson, says those numbers set a new record.

Thompson says the record number of returning fish is excellent news for Columbia River tribes and their fisheries. She attributes the improvement in the runs to a number of factors, including "improved fish passage, good ocean conditions, The Vernita water agreement, the Hanford reach hatchery, great work by the Nez Perce Tribe and snake river fall chinook.”

Thomson says the numbers of wild versus hatchery fish haven’t been determined yet, but the number of wild fish expected to make it all the way to the Snake River is expected to exceed the hatchery numbers.

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