by Samantha Wright
Boise State Radio, September 9, 2008
BOISE, ID - Sockeye Salmon are coming home to Idaho. So far this season, state biologists say more than 500 endangered sockeye have returned to the central Idaho hatchery near the town of Salmon, the biggest run in more than two decades. Idaho Governor Butch Otter was at Redfish Lake Tuesday to celebrate the return and open a new sockeye spawning center at the Eagle Fish Hatchery. A member of the Shoshone Bannock Tribe sang a prayer as the Governor and state officials donned hip-waiters, walked into the lake, and released 30 adult sockeye to spawn naturally.
Salmon advocates applauded this year's sockeye returns, but warned it will take more than hatchery releases to restore the state's fish runs. Groups like Idaho Rivers United blame the dams on the lower Snake and Columbia rivers as the reason salmon and steelhead populations continue to decline.
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