This summer, the Columbia-Snake River Basin is witnessing the biggest sockeye salmon returns since at least 1938. The record-breaking run has provided a boon harvest for the region’s sport and Native American fishermen.
Scientists credit favorable ocean conditions along with the court-ordered spill of water over some of the basin’s dams for dramatically swelling the ranks of fish. The increases in spill—won by conservation attorneys—helps many more baby salmon survive their epic migrations from mountain streams to the sea where they grow to adulthood. Scientists also credit this spill with significantly contributing to a chinook salmon return currently 140 percent above the 10-year average.
(READ the story at Earth Justice, whose efforts won the day for salmon)