The Columbia River’s upriver bright fall Chinook run and the combined lower and upper river fall Chinook run will each be the second-largest on record since Bonneville Dam was completed in 1938, according to the Technical Advisory Committee.
The total adult fall Chinook return to Lower Granite Dam may also be the largest since construction of Lower Granite Dam in the 1970s. Some 735,000 upriver adult fall Chinook are expected to pass Bonneville Dam this year. The 10-year (2004-2013) average is 243,000 fish. Upriver brights, as these fall Chinook are called, are the largest component of the total fall Chinook run entering the Columbia River at its mouth.
More than a million total adult fall Chinook are predicted for the Columbia River this year. If this forecast pans out, the fall Chinook run will have been more than a million fish for three years running. The three-year period 2013-2015 has been significantly better than the 10-year (2004-2013) average of 595,000 fall Chinook at the river mouth. About 1,270,000 were counted in 2013 (the largest since Bonneville Dam was built), last year brought 1,160,000, and this year has hit 1,100,000 so far.
At Lower Granite Dam on the Snake River, a large run of 58,200 adult fall Chinook is anticipated. That, too, would be a second-best fall Chinook return since Lower Granite—the uppermost of four dams on the Lower Snake—was completed in 1978.
Asked about Snake River fish counts, Stuart Ellis, Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission biologist and TAC chairman, said he was amazed to find that “in just the past four years, we almost certainly will have had more adult fall Chinook counted at Lower Granite than in the previous 37 years Lower Granite has existed.” “Those 37 years total 202,787 fall Chinook, while the total for the last four years is already 190,238 fish,” he said. “And we will get another 13,000 fish this year
without much trouble at all”
[Laura Berg at EnergyNewsData].