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Record Salmon Return on Columbia River

Flickr: Five Acre Geographic

The number of returning fall Chinook salmon on the Columbia River this fall has taken a dramatic upswing. Over the weekend, 107,000 Chinook climbed the fish ladder at Bonneville Dam.

A spokesperson with the Columbia Inter-Tribal Fish Commission, Sara Thompson says those numbers set a new record. She says "those are the highest numbers over Bonneville Dam since it’s construction.”

Thompson says the record number of returning fish is excellent news for Colombia River Tribes and their fisheries, and she attributes the improvement in the runs to a number of factors.

Thompson: “Improved fish passage, good ocean conditions, The Vernita water agreement, the Hanford reach hatchery, great work by the Nez Perce tribe and snake river fall chinook.”
Thomson says the numbers of wild versus hatchery fish haven’t been determined yet, but the number of wild fish expected to make it all the way to the Snake River is expected to exceed the hatchery numbers.

Steve was part of the Spokane Public Radio family for many years before he came on air in 1999. His wife, Laurie, produced Radio Ethiopia in the late 1980s through the '90s, and Steve used to “lurk in the shadowy world” of Weekend SPR. Steve has done various on air shifts at the station, including nearly 15 years as the local Morning Edition host. Currently, he is the voice of local weather and news during All Things Considerd, writing, editing, producing and/or delivering newscasts and features for both KPBX and KSFC. Aside from SPR, Steve ,who lives in the country, enjoys gardening, chickens, playing and listening to music, astronomy, photography, sports cars and camping.
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