First Sockeye of 2019 Return to Stanley Basin
(KLIX) – August brought the first sockeye salmon of 2019 to the Stanley area, according to the Idaho Department of Fish and Game.
The department said the reported sockeye is among the 53 others that had crossed Lower Granite Dam near Lewiston, the last dam that the fish cross before reaching Idaho.
Idaho sockeye must complete a 900-mile migration from the Pacific Ocean that includes crossing eight dams and climbing 6,500-feet elevation to reach the Sawtooth Basin, the department explained in a news release.
However, it said this year's sockeye run through Lower Granite is “far below last year’s total of 276 fish” and the “2017 total of 228 fish.” Up to now, the 2017 numbers was the lowest return in about 10 years.
The numbers have fluctuated from about 23 fish in all of the 1990s to more than 2,700 in 2014.