PORTLAND, Ore. -- After more than a decade of dismal numbers, sockeye salmon are returning to the Columbia River in record numbers.
According to the U.S Army Corps of Engineers the number of sockeye passing the Bonneville Dam this year has already quadrupled the yearly average.
So far this year more than 300,000 sockeye have passed the dam. That's a pretty remarkable number considering back in the 90's only a handful made it up the river.
Now tens of thousands are passing through the dam on a daily basis.
"There was a remarkable day last week when more than 30 thousand sockeye came past Bonneville Dam and that’s never happened before," said Michael Milstein with the Bonneville Power Administration.
The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife says the recovery is due to better ocean conditions, improved salmon habitat, and improvements made at the Columbia River dams.
The recreational sockeye salmon season on the Columbia opened June 26th and runs through July 31st.