Only 78 Fall-Run Chinook salmon were observed at Lower Granite Dam on the Snake River in 1990. In 2015, a record setting (the third broken record in a row) 9,345 redds, or spawning beds, were counted between Lower Granite and Hell’s Canyon dams.
That spawning bed count coincided with 59,300 adult fall kings returning to the river — the third biggest run since the four lower Snake dams were completed in 1973.
Brining back the Snake’s run has involved a collaborative multi-stakeholder program that involves state of the art hatchery practices, blended with habitat restoration.
This success story makes a very strong case for hatchery reform in many rivers from the Sacramento north. I’ve been saying for years that some rivers are too far gone to be fixed solely with habitat restoration and need hatcheries. But there’s a lot more we can do to make our hatcheries function better.
Read more about the Snake HERE