Salmon glut won’t last


Columbia River salmon are returning in record numbers, but experts say that will change.

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Salmon have been returning to the Columbia River in record numbers in recent years, but some say it’s a trend that can easily change.

The flood of salmon returning to the river is attributed to favorable ocean conditions, and experts say those conditions are already shifting.

“The ocean conditions suggest that we’ll have low returns in 2010” for coho, said Bill Peterson, an oceanographer with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, based in Newport. The same could be true for the chinook that will return in 2011, but that’s less clear.

If runs plummet again, it will test the degree to which changes at hydropower dams, scores of restoration projects and billions of federal dollars are helping to turn Northwest salmon, the pink-fleshed lifeblood of Northwest rivers, away from the path to extinction.

Read the full story at OregonLive.com.

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