Lower Snake Summer Passage Report 7/3/17

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Spring Chinook

spring summer
Final chart of 2017 spring Chinook returns at Lower Granite dam.

The spring Chinook run has come to an end on the lower Snake River.  The finally tally for 2017 was dismal compared to last year and the 10 year average, with a 56% decline.

2017:  27,357

2016: 62,050

10 yr avg:  62,403


Summer Chinook

summer chinook
Summer Chinook returns at Lower Granite dam are running 50% below the 10 yr avg.

The summer Chinook run is not fairing much better.  It is currently half the 10 year average.

2017:  5,329

2016:  6,045

10 yr avg:  10,837

Counts taken at Lower Granite dam and reported by the Fish Passage Center (fpc.org).

But I thought we were having record fish returns?

This data does not support the reports of “record fish returns” cited by Washington Representative Cathy McMorris Rodgers in her latest attempt to save the dams.   Record fish returns have been proclaimed by several groups including our own federal agencies like the US Army Corps of Engineers, Bonneville Power Administration, and Bureau of Reclamation.  Here is the chart they showed the public at the CRSO Open Houses last fall.  Looks great doesn’t it?

CRSO data
CRSO Open House data.

But if one were to look back farther in history, they would find a different story.  Here is a graph from Idaho Fish and Game going back to 1955.

chinook returns
IDF&G data shows the real story.

Recent returns are far from being records.  This is nothing more than data manipulation to support their cause.

“There are 3 kinds of lies:  lies, damned lies, and statistics.”

-Mark Twain