Steelhead Run Looks Better

October 18, 2004

Better late than never, Idaho's fall steelhead run size may be close to the first forecast after a slow start made fisheries biologists and anglers think the original prediction had been too high.

First estimates were for a better than average run but the outlook dimmed in September when fish counts at dams on the Columbia River were smaller than expected. Recent counts of fish crossing Lower Granite Dam on their way to Idaho have raised projected numbers as well as spirits.

Ed Schriever, regional fisheries manager of the Idaho Department of Fish and Game at Lewiston said "now it looks like we are more on track with the preseason prediction".

Schriever said 75 percent of the steelhead counted at McNary Dam on the Columbia River had entered the Snake River and crossed Ice Harbor Dam. As many as 130,000 to 140,000 steelhead may be returning to the Snake River. Already this year more than 120,000 steelhead have been counted crossing the Lower Granite Dam.

McNary Dam, near the Tri-Cities, is the last dam on the Columbia encountered by Snake River-bound fish and Ice Harbor Dam is the first on the Snake River.

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