Thursday, December 31, 2009

Coho Salmon Returning to The Columbia River in Record Numbers

It does not seem all that long ago that the picture being painted about the health of the salmon fisheries in Washington was very very dire, with salmon pretty much wiped out in the middle to upper Columbia River.

Coho salmon in the lower Columbia River received protection under the Endangered Species Act. Upriver there were no Coho left to protect. Now there are.

10 years ago on 12 coho salmon make it past Rock Island Dam by Wenatchee. In 2009, 19,805 made it past Rock Island Dam.

In the 1990s work began to try and restore the coho runs with fish hatcheries and making it easier for the fish to get past the dams to their spawning zones.

Biologists attribute improved conditions in the Pacific Ocean as also helping increase the number of salmon.

The number of hatchery Coho salmon returning far exceeds expectations. There is also an increase of returns from natural spawning. Which bodes well for the future of the salmon runs in Washington.

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