Snake River Fall Chinook Salmon Make A Comeback

May 12, 2014

Credit Pacific Northwest National Lab / Flickr Creative Commons

The Snake River's fall chinook salmon are making a comeback.

There were just 78 wild chinook salmon counted at the Lower Granite Dam in 1990. Last year, more than 20,000 of the wild salmon were counted, and 75,846 wild and hatchery-born fall chinook total.

The Idaho Statesman reports the Nez Perce have pushed to supplement wild fish populations with salmon from hatcheries. The practice has been used for endangered salmon and steelhead in the Columbia River, and it's been especially successful for Snake River fall chinook.

Idaho Power also has stabilized flows in the fall and spring to protect the salmon's gravel nests, known as redds.

Jeff Allen of the Northwest Power and Conservation Councils says the number of redds went from 47 in 1990 to 6,000 last year.