Posts tagged: sockeye
Enough endangered sockeye salmon are returning to central Idaho this year that some will be allowed to swim the final few hundred yards into Redfish Lake under their own power, something that hasn’t happened in two decades due to dismal spawning runs, the AP reports; the last time was in 1990. Come October this year, a spectacular show is expected at Redfish Lake as up to 1,500 sockeye — the males turn a brilliant red just before spawning — complete their life cycle. “The place was named Redfish Lake for a reason,” said Jeff Heindel, conservation hatcheries supervisor for the Idaho Department of Fish & Game. “It hasn’t had hundreds or thousands of adults spawning there in decades.”
Up to 1,500 sockeye are expected to return to the Stanley region, up from 833 last year; it’s a third of 1955’s count, and a tiny fraction of the tens of thousands that spawned there 100 years ago. Biologists attribute this year’s spike to good ocean and river conditions, actions by dam operators to help young fish survive and the success of a sockeye hatchery program that was targeted for abandonment just four years ago; in 2006, only three returned. Click below for a full report from AP reporter John Miller.