BOISE, Idaho — Ten times as many sockeye salmon are returning to the Columbia River as last year, which could mean the highest return for Idaho’s most endangered fish in more than 30 years.
The Columbia River sockeye run has already doubled initial predictions and is on track to be the highest return since the 1950s. Some of those fish will return to Idaho, but how many remains to be seen.
This year's sockeye return is a rare shot of good news for a fish that has struggled to survive for decades. Sockeye were the first Idaho salmon listed on the Endangered Species list in 1991.
Officials expected a larger-than-average sockeye run due in part to improved river migration and ocean conditions and more young fish migrating from Idaho, but they could not explain the surprise abundance.
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