Bonneville Jack Salmon Counts on Record Rate
by Bill Monroe
The Oregonian, May 13, 2009
What is going on?
For the second year in a row, jack salmon counts at Bonneville Dam are nearing the highest on record. In fact, they just set a record for the second time in a decade.
Consider this succinct memo just now from the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife:
"Yesterday more jacks (4,700) than adults (3,800) were counted at Bonneville Dam. Through May 12, a new record of 28,120 jacks have been counted at Bonneville Dam. The old record, which includes counting through June 15, was 24,363 in 2000." Who knows what's up?
Biologists are just a couple of hours from a telephone meeting in which they're going to downgrade their spring chinook run prediction for the second year in a row...following high jack counts for the third consecutive year.
In the past, the rate at which jack salmon (early-returning, precocious males) returned compared to their subsequent age-class run was fairly reliable.
All bets are out the window, however.
In this case, four jacks definitely beats a royal blush.
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