Fish

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.

Chinook Salmon
Roger Tabor / USFWS Pacific

Blaine County commissioners in central Idaho have approved permits what will allow workers to improve fish passage on a key stream for chinook salmon, steelhead and bull trout.

The Idaho Mountain Express reports that commissioners last week approved work expected to start this week on Pole Creek.

The creek is designated critical habitat for the fish.

The stream-alteration and flood plain conditional-use permit means a culvert on private property that impedes fish passage will be replaced with a bridge.

Chinook Salmon, fish
Pacific Northwest National Lab / Flickr Creative Commons

Hundreds of adult chinook salmon needed to create future generations have been killed after rainstorms sent sediment into a fish trap on the South Fork of the Salmon River in central Idaho.

Officials tell the Idaho Statesman that the loss means significantly fewer adult chinook salmon will return to the South Fork Salmon in 2018.

The Idaho Department of Fish and Game says the rain event on Aug. 6 caused sediment to flow into holding ponds and suffocate the fish.

Courtesy Idaho Power

This, folks, is a 470-pound sturgeon that was recently reeled in, tagged, and released by Idaho Power. The 10-foot-long female was caught in Hells Canyon on the Snake River. Did we mention this fish is 75 years old? That means she was born in 1939, when Franklin D. Roosevelt was President.

Oregon Department of Forestry / Flickr Creative Commons

Idaho has long restricted cutting down trees along stream banks as a way to keep water cool for trout and a salmon. On July 1, an updated version of the so-called shade rule goes into effect.   

The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation is boosting the amount of water flowing in the Snake River in an effort to help native fish between Palisades Reservoir and Shoshone Falls.

Michael Beus with the Bureau of Reclamation in Heyburn, Idaho told The Times-News that the faster, deeper flow will give native cutthroat trout an advantage over invasive rainbow trout.

The bureau has been increasing flows every year since 2004.

Many parts of the U.S. have been getting warmer over the past several decades, and also experiencing persistent drought. Wildlife often can't adjust. Among the species that are struggling is one of the American West's most highly prized fish — the cutthroat trout.

In springtime, you can find young cutthroats in the tiny streams of Montana's Shields Basin. Bend over and look closely and you might see a 2-inch fish wriggling out from under a submerged rock — the spawn of native cutthroats.

Chinook Salmon, fish
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.

Scientists say a voracious species of trout that entered Yellowstone Lake and decimated its native trout population appears to be in decline following efforts to kill off the invading fish.

Non-native lake trout were first found 20 years ago in the 132-square mile lake in the center of Yellowstone National Park. Crews have since caught and removed more than a million of the fish in hopes that cutthroat trout populations would rebound.

On Tuesday, scientists from the park and Trout Unlimited said those efforts are finally showing progress.

The Columbia River will remain drawn down at least until June because of the cracked Wanapum Dam in southeast Washington.

The ongoing issue with the cracked Wanapum Dam in central Washington is now creating a problem for migrating salmon.

It's not something we often think about, but as we go about daily life, we're constantly shedding little flakes of skin. So are animals and fish.

The Yakama Nation’s steelhead reconditioning program is like a retreat spa for fish. And it's changing the circle of life for the species.

New advisories from health officials in Washington and Oregon warn that some fish in the Columbia River aren’t safe to eat.

Idaho Gold Mine, Yellow Pine Pit
Courtesy Midas Gold Corp.

Canadian mining company Midas Gold says it's making progress on its Golden Meadows project near Stibnite, Idaho.  The company says it continues to advance the project on several fronts. The ultimate goal is to mine gold in the East Fork of the South Fork of the Salmon River.

trout, fish, westslope cutthroat trout
USFWS Mountain Prairie / Flickr Creative Commons

Biologists are preparing to poison off all the fish in a stream in Yellowstone National Park ahead of an effort to restore native fish species to those waters.

Nonnative brown and rainbow trout have invaded and become established in Grayling Creek and its tributaries north of West Yellowstone, Mont.

This week, biologists plan to put small quantities of a toxin in the streams to kill off the nonnative trout. Treatments with the chemical Rotenone will continue for two to three years until all of the nonnative fish species are gone.

Chinook Salmon
Roger Tabor / USFWS Pacific

Chinook salmon haven't returned naturally to the Boise River for decades, since dams downstream on the Snake River blocked their passage.

But the Idaho Department of Fish and Game will be stocking 300 to 400 Chinook jacks in the Boise River Monday.

The jack salmon are young Chinooks that return to fresh water earlier than other spawning adults.

They're about half the size of typical Chinooks that return to rivers.

You can pick up a number of different Audubon-style guides if you're a bird watcher.  But it’s a different story when it comes to fish.  Many Idaho fish haven’t been studied.

Oceiana/Flic

That nice piece of fish you might order at a restaurant or pick up from the grocery store may not actually be the type of fish you think it is.

David Ascher / Flickr

How much fish do you eat every week?  That’s a question Idaho’s Department of Environmental Quality wants to answer.  The agency has asked state lawmakers for funding to study that question. 

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