For Washington's seals, it's tasty-salmon-snack season

The OlympianSeptember 16, 2011 

Chinook salmon have begun their annual return to the Deschutes River in Oregon through the Fifth Avenue dam, with about 900 already in the hatchery and thousands more expected, according to state Fish and Wildlife officials.

About 14,000 salmon are expected for this year’s run, which falls in line with historical trends, said Larry Phillips, district fish biologist for South Puget Sound.

Phillips expects more salmon to enter the area as temperatures drop and water levels rise in the lakes and river. The hatchery will continue to take in fish until about mid-October, so there’s still plenty of time to see the fish return through Budd Inlet.

“We’ll spawn what we need, and that would be somewhere in the neighborhood of 4.5 million eggs,” said Lee Pilon, hatchery specialist.

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