The first two sockeye salmon to make it home from the Pacific Ocean in 2017 have arrived in the Stanley Basin. It’s a rough year for the fish.
A naturally produced fish showed up July 27 and a hatchery-raised sockeye made it on August 2. Idaho Fish and Game is hoping another 150 fish make it to Stanley this year. The fish have to travel 900 miles over several dams to make it from the ocean to Idaho.
So far this year, 225 of the fish have made it as far as Lower Granite Dam near Lewiston. They still have another 400 miles to go to get to their Stanley spawning grounds.
Last year, 790 crossed the dam and 595 made it to Stanley. Fish and Game says this year has been tough for salmon and steelhead. All the returning fish runs have been below average. Officials hope that this winter’s large snowpack, which helped young fish leaving Idaho, and a cooler ocean, will boost future runs of the fish.
Despite this year’s lower numbers, the Sockeye are still doing better than in the 1990s when they were put on the Endangered Species List. From 1991 to 1999, only 23 fish made it home to Stanley.
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