Sockeye first in 45 years to upper Deschutes River basin

Sockeye salmon in Oregon's Metolius River. (Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife)
Sockeye salmon in Oregon's Metolius River. (Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife)

FISHERIES — The first observed spawning sockeye salmon in the Metolius River in more than 45 years was reported on Sept. 27 by an Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife fisheries biologist. 

The Metolius joins the Crooked and Deschutes rivers in central Oregon’s Lake Billy Chinook above the Pelton-Round Butte hydro project, which has for that half century blocked upstream passage of anadromous fish – salmon and steelhead that are born in freshwater, mature at sea and then return to spawn in their natal streams.

The three rivers become the Deschutes, which flows about 100 miles downstream from the dam complex before entering the Columbia River.

Seet the Columbia Basin Bulletin's detailed report.

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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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