BONNEVILLE, Wash. -- Fall Chinook salmon are running at record numbers in the Columbia River, feeding excitement among fishing enthusiasts.
Janet Daylen has been counting fish at the Bonneville Dam for more than a decade and said she’s never seen anything like this before.
In just an hour’s time as KGW camera’s rolled, Daylen counted 1,500 Chinook salmon passing through the dam. Last week, a counter recorded a record 68,000 in one single day.
Fish biologists said at this rate, more than a million Fall Chinook could easily pass through the dam this year.
“Back when I was a little child, I remember the creek full with fish but it’s been quite a while since we have seen these numbers return,” said fisherman Justin Murphy.
The high salmon numbers are the result of several factors, including safer fish passages at the dams, improved fish hatcheries and ideal ocean conditions, according to fish biologists.
As a result, sports fishermen will likely be able to double their Chinook salmon limits before the season ends.