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Tuesday, October 22, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Outdoors blog

First Columbia River spring chinook of season swims up, over Bonneville Dam

A spring chinook that climbed over Bonneville Dam this week was way ahead of the curve. (Fish Passage Center)
A spring chinook that climbed over Bonneville Dam this week was way ahead of the curve. (Fish Passage Center)

FISHING -- The first spring chinook salmon of the season has been counted at Bonneville Dam, according to Joe Hymer of the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. Winter counts are done by videotaping.

The chinook had a white chin, which is like a lower Columbia chinook, rather than the black chin typical of an upriver stock.

Turbidity is increasing in the lower Columbia River and the streamflow is up to 268,300 cubic feet per second at Bonneville Dam with 64,000 cubic feet per second of spill.

The water temperature is about 36 degrees.

According to the Fish Count supervisor's report, "The water is getting pretty cloudy and they were spilling at the project over the weekend with the power houses going full bore. It's got some of the fish cranked up."

State, federal and tribal biologists are forecasting a run of 160,400 adult spring chinook in 2017 for waters upstream of Bonneville Dam.

Spring chinook counts normally reach their peak in early May at Bonneville.

Fishing is open for spring chinook currently downstream of the Interstate 5 Bridge. The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife checked three bank rods and two boaters between Westport and Portland with no catch last weekend.

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Rich Landers
Rich Landers joined The Spokesman-Review in 1977. He is the Outdoors editor for the Sports Department writing and photographing stories about hiking, hunting, fishing, boating, conservation, nature and wildlife and related topics.

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