A huge salmon run at Bonneville has people excited.  Check out a few entries from an article written last week in the LA Times.  If curtailing spill is implemented in this way regularly it could mean great things for all salmon and other fish species populations.  The water retention, however, could also cause difficulties with hydro-power needed in California.  

 LA Times: Big chinook run doesn't let Columbia dams off the hook, activists say

Salmon counters at Bonneville Dam on the Columbia River are seeing the biggest chinook run since 1938, but environmentalists still worry.

By Maria L. La Ganga
September 24, 2013

2salmonballet.web"A record fall run of Chinook salmon is heading up the Columbia River — more than any year since the Bonneville Lock and Dam was built in 1938, impeding natural access to the prized fish's traditional spawning grounds and stirring a controversy that has yet to abate.

On Tuesday, the millionth adult chinook salmon so far this year migrated upstream through the massive dam, a milestone that had never before been reached. Biologists are talking hopefully of a fall season that alone could also crest the million mark. On Sept. 9, fish counters like Dalen tallied a one-day record of 63,870.

Salmon form the backbone of the tribal culture and economy in the Pacific Northwest and southeastern Alaska. They are also crucial for commercial and recreational fishermen. The dam generates hydropower for the region and parts of California. Balancing the competing needs is a daunting task.

This year's robust fall chinook salmon run has increased calls to remove some wild salmon populations from endangered species lists, but it has done little to quell opposition to the series of dams on the Columbia and its tributaries."

www.wildsalmon.org (2013)


Success with this technique this year has people talking about a draft management plan.  This would allow operators to tightly control the overflow regularly which counters attribute to the Chinook doing well.  Applying the plan brings optimism for growth of other species but the hydro-power issue still needs to be resolved.  If California gets behind the plan in recognizing the benefit to wild fish populations, the difficulty in the power debate should quell some.  Stay tuned to this topic if you can.  It could mean a lot in the health and numbers of the wild salmon industry.