More sockeye Salmon returning to Idaho than seen in decades

STANLEY, Idaho - For the first time in years, Idahoans have a good opportunity to see the state's most endangered fish alive.

So far, 63 sockeye salmon have made the nearly 900-mile trip from the Pacific Ocean, through eight dams on the Columbia and Snake rivers and finally to the Sawtooth Valley.

Every morning at 9 a.m., the Idaho Department of Fish and Game empties its trap at the Sawtooth Hatchery, less than 6 miles south of Stanley, giving the public a chance to see the salmon returning in numbers not seen for decades.

The fish swim into traps set on Redfish Lake Creek and at the Sawtooth Hatchery. Only the hatchery trap on Idaho 75 between Stanley and Ketchum is open to the public.

Fish and Game officials are hoping that up to half of the sockeye counted at Lower Granite Dam on the Snake River will make the 462-mile trip from the dam to the Idaho lakes. They expect the number of returning sockeye to peak later this week through early next week.

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