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Summer Chinook Run Tops 10-Year Average

by Associated Press, August 31, 2006

More than 67,000 summer chinook passed the Bonneville Dam between June 16 and July 31, topping the 10-year average by about 24,000 fish, federal agencies said Wednesday.

The return followed a spring chinook return of more than 126,000 fish, which was slightly below the 10-year average.

Bob Lohn, Northwest regional chief of the NOAA Fisheries Service, credited ocean conditions and safer passage of juvenile salmon through the dams on their seaward journey.

Federal agencies continue experimenting with ways to improve migration, such as spilling more water over the dams and barging juvenile salmon around them. Under court order, federal dam operators are spilling additional water at the four Lower Snake River dams and McNary Dam on the Columbia River.

"The improvement in the swift and safe passage of juvenile salmon through the dams are helping salmon recovery for the long term," Lohn said in a statement.

But Lohn said improved river conditions for juveniles do not always mean larger adult returns because ocean conditions play an even greater role.

Associated Press
Summer Chinook Run Tops 10-Year Average, August 31, 2006

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