Here is the latest from the Salmon SEEson campaign.
How are the fish doing this year?
As of August 15, current estimates were that 3,606 Chinook had come through the Locks on their upstream spawning migration. Since historically about half of the total Chinook run has come through the Locks by mid-August, we may well still see some additional Chinook coming through. The pre-season forecast for the full Chinook run this year was about 4,700 fish.
King County’s Scott Stolnack adds an important note, though: the Chinook estimate more than doubled on a single day (August 6), when over 1,200 Chinook were estimated to have passed through the Locks. Biologists believe that this probably greatly over-estimates the numbers for that day, and is likely due to “recycling,” a behavior that can occur (among other reasons) when Chinook encounter excessively warm fresh water upstream of the locks, and decide to return to cooler salt water downstream. These fish may do this a number of times, and therefore may be counted more than once, inflating the estimate.
The pre-season forecast for sockeye was about 77,000 fish, but by August 15, 132,552 sockeye had come through the Locks, so this run is significantly better than forecast, though not necessarily “good” in any historical sense. By this date, the sockeye run is pretty much completely through the Locks. Note that this data is provisional and is courtesy of Muckleshoot Tribe and WDFW.