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Ecology and salmon related articles

Word from Columbia River is Mixed

by Mark Yuasa
Seattle Times, August 29, 2016

McNary Dam, seen here from the Washington side of the Columbia River, is a critical passage point for migrating salmon and one that river managers have been trying to improve for years. (Bruce Ely/The Oregonian) There are plenty of good, bad and strange stories coming from the Columbia River, according to Joe Hymer, a state Fish and Wildlife biologist.

The good news is the 44,229 adult fall chinook counted at Bonneville Dam from Aug. 1-22 is the third-highest count dating to at least 1938. The record is the 48,817 fish counted in 2013.

On the gloomy side, just 86,813 steelhead have been counted at Bonneville Dam since July 1, which is the lowest since 1998 when only 69,158 fish were tallied. Around 2,000 were being counted daily at Bonneville, well below the 10-year average of more than 5,000. Steelhead counts at McNary Dam were averaging fewer than 300 daily.

On the strange side, one chum salmon was counted at Bonneville Dam, and one chum returned to the Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery. Small numbers of summer chum return to the Cowlitz Hatchery annually.

And on the total "what the heck is happening?" side, two pink salmon were sighted on the Columbia at Bonneville Dam, of which one had already crossed The Dalles Dam. In addition, one pink has been confirmed caught from the Deep River commercial fishery.

Mark Yuasa
Word from Columbia River is Mixed
Seattle Times, August 29, 2016

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