Chinook have record spawn in Snake River

2013 redd counts were highest since monitoring started in 1988.

March 6, 2014 

A total of 6,391 fall chinook salmon redds (scoured out nests in river bottom gravels) were estimated to have been built in the lower Snake River basin in 2013, according to a report from the Columbia Basin Fish and Wildlife Bulletin,

The year’s estimate showed 761 more redds than the previous high estimate of 5,630 redds in 2010.

“It just keeps going up and up,” the Nez Perce Tribe’s Bill Arnsberg said of redd counts. They have risen from a low of only 45 in 1990, including 37 in the lower Snake River upstream of Lower Granite Dam, one in the Grande Ronde River, three in the Imnaha River and four in the Clearwater River.

In 1990, a total of only 384 adult fall chinook were counted climbing over fish ladders at Lower Granite in the lower Snake River.

With populations at low ebbs, Snake River fall chinook salmon, as well as Snake River spring/summer chinook salmon, were listed as threatened in 1992 under the federal Endangered Species Act.

With the success of natural spawning and hatchery supplements, a potential record return of fall chinook is expected in the Columbia/Snake River system this year.

Fisheries managers are expecting up to 1.6 million fish, which should supply outstanding fishing opportunity for Idaho anglers.

Those fish will start returning to Idaho in late summer.

Idaho Statesman is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service