Friday May 13, 2022


It starts raining just as two trucks hauling juvenile salmon arrive near the end of a gravel road at Chief Joseph Dam in the Central Washington town of Bridgeport on Friday, May 6. The trucks, driven by scientists from the United States Geological Survey (USGS) and Coeur d’Alene Tribe Fisheries Program, stop with the last group of salmon from what was initially about 5,000 total summer chinook reared at a Coeur d’Alene Tribe hatchery in Plummer, Idaho.

This will mark the final release of juvenile salmon whose journeys down the Spokane and Columbia rivers are being tracked by several Inland Northwest tribes in hopes of understanding the viability of returning salmon to their once free-flowing homewaters.

With the haul of young salmon now on the road below Chief Joseph Dam (the main portion of which opened in 1955), a team of volunteers gets ready to start hauling buckets of fish down the steep hill to the water, navigating over rip-rap boulders.

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