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The official Klamath River Pacific Fisheries Management Council's (PFMC) Chinook Salmon count is in!

by Steve Rapalyea, Chiloquin, Oregon 3/17/13

The official Pacific Fisheries Management Council's (PFMC) Chinook Salmon count is in.
Spawning escapement was 55,939 to the hatcheries, 122,018 "natural" spawners, 13,574 fish recreational catch, 101,476 fish Indian catch, 9,101fish non-landed mortality for a total return of 302,108 Chinook Salmon.
The highest documented pre-dam return was in 1915 with a total in river commercial catch of 72,357 fish and a total return to the egg taking stations of approximately 7817 fish. If we correlate as best possible the 2012 returns known escapement or previous known escapement from 1978 to 2010 meta tables, we can estimate the largest pre-dam run size at 153,000 to 160,000 fish.
There was no reliable data before 1913. (John O. Snyder,Cal. Fish and game report #34)
Keep in mind in 1915 there was no modern troll fleet or foreign mid water trawlers.
With a 2012 return almost double the highest documented pre dam return, it is obvious we must hurry and get the dams removed on the Klamath to "restore" the runs to their much smaller pre dam size!
Steve Rapalyea, Chiloquin,OR



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