WARM SPRINGS, OR -- Fisheries officials with the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs (CTWS) are pleased to see native sockeye salmon return to the area in large numbers. Lab results released Tuesday show 536 sockeye returned to the Pelton Round Butte Hydroelectric Project during the 2016 run. That far exceeds returns over the past few years, when they ranged between 19 and 86 fish.
Genetic testing confirms 92% were from Lake Billy Chinook and fisheries manager Brad Houslet says it's a clear result of reintroduction efforts that began in 2010.
Based on physical characteristics of the fish, ODFW and CTWS authorized the passage of 463 sockeye upstream of the hydro project to complete their lifecycle and spawn in the Metolius basin. The remaining 73 were retained at the Dept. of Fish and Wildlife's Round Butte Fish Hatchery to spawn.
to view in-stream video of one returning sockeye.