Fall Chinook Run Very
by Laura Berg
As of mid-October, this year's fall Chinook return to the Columbia River is forecast at 1,224,310, just short of the 2013 milestone of 1,268,400 fish.
Over a million of the 2015 run are from areas above Bonneville Dam, according to Technical Advisory Committee estimates.
It's worth noting that the 2014 fall Chinook run was a healthy 1,159,100 adult fish returning to the river mouth.
Fall Chinook counts at McNary Dam also have exceeded the previous 2013 record. As of Oct. 21, some 487,000 fall Chinook adults passed the dam. These are Chinook destined for Hanford Reach, the Yakima, Clearwater and Snake rivers.
At 57,500 fish, the fall Chinook passing Lower Granite Dam represent the second highest count at the dam to date. These Snake River fall Chinook include the threatened Snake River fall Chinook listed under the ESA.
In an October 14 news release, the Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission said the successful returns of fall Chinook resulted from a variety of factors including human effort. "This year's fall Chinook enjoyed excellent ocean conditions and good migration conditions. They also benefitted from the Vernita Bar Agreement -- a long-standing effort to protect water flow in the Hanford Reach, tribal supplementation efforts that are restoring fall Chinook populations in the Snake River Basin, harvest management actions on the Pacific Ocean and mainstem Columbia, and strong collaborative efforts to improve habitat."
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