Officials Predict Low Return of Steelhead to Snake and Columbia Rivers
LEWISTON, Idaho (AP) — Fisheries managers are predicting this year's return of steelhead to the Snake River and its tributaries will be the lowest in about two decades. Officials say that about 60,000 steelhead are expected to return above Lower Granite Dam this summer, slightly more than in 1998. Alan Byrne of the Idaho Department of Fish and Game tells the Lewiston Tribune that low flows and hot water in 2015 appear to have reduced the survival of young fish heading to the ocean that year.
Officials predict that about 119,000 steelhead will return past Bonneville Dam on the Columbia River this year. That would be the lowest since about 115,000 steelhead returned in 1980. Steelhead are a prized sport fish in the region.