...Below Average Steelhead Run
...Coho Only 28 Percent Of Average
The number of fall chinook passing Bonneville Dam continues to mount with nearly 1,000 more fish over the dam this week, increasing the record run to 954,376, or 212 percent of the 10-year average, according to NOAA Fisheries’ Paul Wagner at Wednesday’s Technical Management Team meeting.
Just last week, the previous record of 953,222 fish set in 2013 was exceeded when the count went to 953,541 fish as of November 12, the most fish passing the dam since it was built 77 years ago.
The coming years may not see the big runs of 2015, “so we could be in for a bad spell,” Wagner said. As indicators, he pointed to low spring chinook jack salmon counts over Bonneville Dam this year as well as the expectation that poor ocean conditions bode poorly for the juvenile salmon that migrated to the ocean this year.
Steelhead have not fared as well. Passage is below the 10-year average at both Bonneville and Lower Granite dams, Wagner said.
Some 266,855 steelhead had passed Bonneville June 1 through November 18, 76 percent of the 10-year average. Of those fish, 97,103 were wild steelhead. That’s 86 percent of the 10-year average. Passage has slowed to about 50 fish per day.
Coho salmon this year are performing poorly, Wagner said. Total passage at Bonneville Wednesday, Nov. 18, was 36,845 coho. The 10-year average is 129,000 fish, so this year’s run is 28 percent of the 10-year average.