Friday, April 30, 2010

Big Run of Spring Chinook Headed up Columbia and Snake Rivers

All indications are that this years return of spring chinook on the Columbia river will be very large relative to the ten year average. Biologists have forecasted that 470,000 adult spring chinook would return and the run has been building in the lower Columbia for more than a month. High numbers of endangered upriver chinook have resulted in unprecedented catches of these ESA listed stocks in lower river "select areas" where hatchery chinook releases normally provide commercial chinook fisheries with little bycatch on other stocks. See an article in the Columbia Basin Bulletin:

Researchers working at Bonneville are observing record numbers of sea lions that have followed chinook upriver to Bonneville dam. A record number of salmon taken have been taken by sea lions so far, however the proportion of fish taken by sea lions is much lower than previous with high numbers of fish passing Bonneville.