Friday, June 15, 2012

Early Columbia Sockeye Returns Looking Promising

Fisheries managers are predicting more than 460,000 sockeye will return to the Columbia Basin this summer, a total which would eclipse the modern record set in 2010 of 387,858 fish. Nearly all of the predicted run (431,000) is bound for the Okanagan River Basin, but Wenatchee Lake and endangered Snake River Sockeye are expected to have banner years as well. Increased sockeye abundance in the Columbia is largely attributable to better flow management in the Okanagan system, as well as court mandated spill during the spring outmigration and improved ocean conditions. Whether or not the actual return of sockeye will match lofty preseason forecasts remains to be seen, but early returns have been promising with more than 26,000 sockeye already past Bonneville Dam. More information in the Columbia Basin Bulletin:

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