All-time Record Set for Fall Chinook
by Steve Law
A record number of adult fall chinook salmon climbed the fish ladders at Bonneville Dam on Monday. The 67,521 chinook navigating the passage shattered the record of 63,8790 set on Sept. 9, 2013, and was the most in a single day since the dam was built in 1938.
Since Sunday, more than 180,000 adult fall chinook passed the dam, in a three-day period.
About 1.5 million adult fall chinook are projected this season, and about 360,000 have passed through so far.
The good results are a result of favorable ocean conditions and a host of fish-recovery efforts involving the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, native tribes, start governments and nonprofits. Much of the effort is subsidized by the region's electric ratepayers, who enjoy some of the nation's cheapest energy in hydro power produced by Columbia River dams.
"These record-breaking numbers show that the structural and operational improvements made at the dams have resulted in safer passage conditions for juvenile and adult fish," says David Ponganis, the Army Corps' Northwestern Division programs director.
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