Chinook Salmon

Rachael McDonald

An unusual number of Chinook salmon carcasses have been found in the Willamette River around Portland. State wildlife biologists are blaming warm water.

Salmon need cool water to thrive. Nick Swart, a spokesman for the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife says in the last week they've measured temperatures at 75 degrees around Willamette Falls.   

Swart: "That's really a precarious condition for migrating fish."

Jeff Ziller, with ODFW's Springfield office, says the warmer water is due to drought conditions.

Jes Burns / Earthfix

Drought is creating problems in river systems all around the Northwest. Nowhere is this more evident than on the Klamath River in Southern Oregon and Northern California.

Scientists there say there’s not enough cool water flowing, and a fish kill of young Chinook [shin-’nook] salmon is likely.

Releasing more water from upstream reservoirs could help the fish stay healthy.
 

Rick Swart/ODFW

Oregonians who receive assistance from food banks might find an expensive - and tasty item in their boxes this winter.

The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife says a banner run of Chinook and Coho has allowed them to donate 175-tons of salmon to the Oregon Food Bank. It will be distributed to food banks across the state.

KLCC's Angela Kellner spoke to Rick Swart with the ODFW.

Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife

The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife is recommending a rule change making barbed hooks legal inside certain areas of the lower Willamette River as well as Youngs Bay and Gnat Creek near Astoria.

Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife

Willamette Valley anglers will be delighted to find an early bonanza of hatchery trout in local waterways.  A dam malfunction turns out to be good news for folks who want to go fishing for New Years.