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Lower Granite Spring Run Tops Out at 75,000 Chinook, One Shad

by Bill Rudolph
NW Fishletter, June 27, 2002

The spring run officially ended at Lower Granite Dam on June 17, when a few more than 75,000 chinook were tallied there--the second-best run ever seen at the dam, following last year's all-time record of 172,000 chinook. Idaho Department of Fish and Wildlife fish managers had predicted a run of 50,000, but the chinook had other ideas.

The summer run is now coming on strong. More than a thousand fish are passing the dam every day; another 18,000 fish were coming up the lower Snake River from Ice Harbor Dam when the spring count officially ended at Lower Granite. The summer run's momentum hasn't let up either, as evidenced by counts in the lower Columbia River. About 3,000 fish are passing Bonneville Dam daily; many will be heading for the Snake.

One shad had also made it all the way up the lower Snake to Granite by June 17. So far this year, 2.8 million of them have been counted at Bonneville.

The latest spring run is nearly 70 times the size of the chinook migration of 1995, when only 1,100 lonesome chinook were counted at Lower Granite. Next year's run is shaping up nicely, too. With more than 2,100 jacks counted at the dam this spring, 2003 will likely end up number three in the record books. The old 10-year average for spring jacks was only about 700 fish until it was boosted by the big runs of the past two years. -B. R.

Bill Rudolph
Lower Granite Spring Run Tops Out at 75,000 Chinook, One Shad
NW Fishletter, June 27, 2002

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