Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Califorinia River Having Record Chinook Returns


Buoyed by productive ocean conditions and a three year moratorium on ocean harvest rivers throughout Northern California is seeing strong returns of Chinook Salmon this year. As of mid-November biologists had trapped 1,600 Chinook at the Van Arsdale counting station on the Eel River nearing the previous record of 1,754. The counting facility is on the upper mainstem Eel and passes fish above Cape Horn Dam, so the actual counts of Chinook in the Eel are certainly much higher. Rivers throughout the Central Valley are also seeing strong returns just a few short years after record low counts triggered closures in ocean commercial fisheries. While commercial fishing moratoriums in Northern California have been a tough pill to swallow, abundant returns this year are no doubt benefiting from the closure. Not only have returning salmon in this years run been more numerous, they've also been larger on average. Check out two articles about this years boom in Chinook Returns:

Record returns on the Eel River:
http://www.times-standard.com/localnews/ci_16656489

Salmon rebounding on the Sacramento:
http://www.kentucky.com/2010/11/13/1523833/salmon-population-surges-in-central.html

Also, an interesting report on historic abundance in the Eel:
http://watershed.ucdavis.edu/pdf/%20Yoshiyama-Moyle_Eel%20River%20Final%20Report%202010.pdf

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