Sockeye Complete Epic Journey To Central Idaho
by Tom Banse
Oregon Public Broadcasting, August 5, 2008
Biologists in Oregon reported recently that sockeye salmon were heading up the Columbia River this summer in their largest numbers in 50 years. And Sockeye by the hundreds are completing their epic journey high in the Idaho mountains. Correspondent Tom Banse reports.
Redfish Lake takes its name from the sockeye salmon that once colored its spawning grounds. It's been many decades since the lake in central Idaho has lived up to its name.
The sockeye run famously dwindled to one fish dubbed "Lonesome Larry" in 1992.
This summer, several hundred fish are expected to complete the longest and highest migration of any Northwest salmon.
Idaho Fish and Game biologist Russell Kiefer says the bounce back is gratifying.
Russell Kiefer: "These fish are very resilient and give us opportunities to actually recover them."
Kiefer says a combination of factors could explain this year's remarkable run. The reasons include good ocean conditions, increased hatchery production, and strong, cold river flows during migration.
The Sawtooth Valley sockeye run is a small component of the largest surge of "reds" to move up the Columbia River system in half a century.
F&G Management Plans Helping in the Sockeye Recovery by Cal Groen, Idaho Statesman, 8/12/8
Don't Equate Strong Sockeye Return with Recovery by Rocky Barker, Idaho Statesman, 8/10/8
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