Outdoors

Season's open, but where are the salmon?


Ten-month-old Colbey Hughes seems distracted as his father, Scott Hughes, watches fish ladder activity under the Bonneville Dam, where chinook salmon are arriving in sustained numbers.
 (Torsten Kjellstrand  Oregonian / The Spokesman-Review)
Ten-month-old Colbey Hughes seems distracted as his father, Scott Hughes, watches fish ladder activity under the Bonneville Dam, where chinook salmon are arriving in sustained numbers. (Torsten Kjellstrand Oregonian / The Spokesman-Review)

FISHING — Fishing seasons for spring chinook salmon opened on much of the Snake River recently, but few fish are yet to show up crossing  the Snake River dams.

Here's the just-released official Idaho Fish and Game Department answer to the question: Where are the fish?

Lots of environmental conditions affect when the salmon arrive at Lower Granite Dam. Fish and Game opens the season in late April to make sure that in years when the run is early, anglers are able to fish for the salmon.

In 2001, a year with a large return, more than 38,000 Chinook salmon had been counted at Lower Granite Dam by this date. The run appears to be late this year. Only 25 salmon have been counted crossing Lower Granite Dam through April 24 this year. But the recent five-year average count for the same date is 497 salmon counted. Even if the run is not late, we typically don’t see many salmon at Lower Granite Dam by this date anyway.

 

At Bonneville Dam, the first dam the fish reach coming up the Columbia from the ocean, only 4845 salmon have crossed.

But don’t despair, the numbers crossing Bonneville are improving daily. They doubled the best numbers so far Monday with more 1000 fish crossing!




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Rich Landers

Rich Landers’ Outdoors blog


Rich Landers writes and photographs stories for a wide range of outdoors coverage, including a Sunday feature section and a Thursday column. He also writes the Outdoors Blog.


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