Fall chinook salmon returning to Columbia River in record number - KPTV - FOX 12

Fall chinook salmon returning to Columbia River in record numbers

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The Hanford Reach section of the Columbia River is seeing record-setting numbers of fall chinook salmon.

According to a release from Bonneville Power Administration, scientists estimate 200,000 chinook are spawning in the Hanford reach. That number is the most fish ever counted in that area since the dams were constructed in the 1930s.

This year's fall chinook run in the Columbia and Snake rivers is the second best since counting began in 1938. About 1.2 million fish are returning to the rivers and their tributaries.

About 50,000 of the chinook are spawning in a one-mile section of the Hanford Reach called Vernita Bar.

Biologists said historically only a small number of salmon spawned at Vernita Bar because that stretch of the river was higher than historic flows.

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