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A crowd of salmon in the Bonneville Dam fish ladder on September 11, 2013.

A crowd of salmon in the Bonneville Dam fish ladder on September 11, 2013.

This year has been a record-breaking run for the fall chinook salmon. The run has broken both the single day and total run records. The first record broken was for the single day fall chinook passage at Bonneville Dam. On September 9, 63,870 chinook passed. This broke the record just set two days earlier of 48,710. The previous record was 45,884, set September 11, 2003. The second record broken was for total fall chinook passage at Bonneville Dam. The record for total fall chinook passage over Bonneville Dam was broken on September 13, 2013 when 651,706 fall chinook had passed over the dam. Since the run is still in progress, this number will continue to grow. At press time (9/24/2013), the total count was 818,581 fish. This is the highest number of fall chinook passing the dam since its construction in 1938. The previous record of 610,736 fall chinook was set in 2003. The records aren’t only happening at Bonneville Dam, either. As the run makes its way upstream, it’s breaking records along the way. Lower Granite Dam had its single day count broken on Sept. 20 when 4,387 fall chinook passed and its total fall chinook run record was broken on Sept. 18. At press time, the count was at 38,453.

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