Sockeye Run Will Rank No. 3by Allen Thomas
The Columbian, July 31, 2008
Perhaps there is hope for the long-struggling sockeye salmon of the Snake River.
Through the middle of last week, the sockeye count at Lower Granite Dam on the Snake River was 814, said Stuart Ellis, a biologist for the Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission.
(Snake River) Sockeye were the first Columbia River species listed under the federal Endangered Species Act, back in 1991.
This year's count is the best since 337 were tallied in 2000.
"It's higher than any annual count at any Snake River project (dam) since 1969," Ellis said.
Many years, the return of sockeye to the Stanley Lakes Basin spawning grounds in central Idaho numbered in single digits.
Entry of sockeye into the Columbia River mouth is almost complete, and the run is tracking to total about 215,000, he said.
That would place this year's return at No. 3 since completion of Bonneville Dam, trailing only 237,723 in 1955 and 235,017 in 1953.
Most sockeye return to either the Okanogan or Wenatchee rivers.
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