Photo Post: Refraction // Counting Salmon in Bonneville Lock and Dam, Oregon

counting salmon in oregon

I was a bit stumped by this photo challenge until I remember that I took photos of salmon migrating through the fish ladders in Bonneville Lock and Dam’s counting station. Basically someone is there clicking the count as the fishes swam by. They count the fish passing through to see if it’s a Chinook Jack. They use the lines to help measure the fish. I found this photo especially cool because I am staring at the salmon from my side of the world while he is migrating through the other side of the glass with the very bright lights reflecting off the glass. It must seem surreal for the salmon because it certainly seem surreal to me. If you are interested in seeing the fishes swim through the counting station, you can see it on this fish camera. I excerpted the following from the wiki page on Chinook salmon. Enjoy the photo and the read.

Chinook salmon may spend one to eight years in the ocean (averaging from three to four years) before returning to their home rivers to spawn. Chinook spawn in larger and deeper waters than other salmon species and can be found on the spawning redds (nests) from September through to December. After laying eggs, females guard the redd from four to 25 days before dying, while males seek additional mates. Chinook salmon eggs hatch, depending upon water temperature, 90 to 150 days after deposition. Egg deposits are timed to ensure the young salmon fry emerge during an appropriate season for survival and growth. Fry and parr (young fish) usually stay in fresh water 12 to 18 months before traveling downstream to estuaries, where they remain as smolts for several months. Some chinooks return to the fresh water one or two years earlier than their counterparts, and are referred to as “jack” salmon. “Jack” salmon are typically less than 24 inches in length but are sexually mature chinook salmon that return at an earlier age.

The Yukon River has the longest freshwater migration route of any salmon, over 3,000 kilometres (1,900 mi) from its mouth in the Bering Sea to spawning grounds upstream of Whitehorse, Yukon. Since Chinook rely on fat reserves for energy upon entering fresh water, commercial fish caught here are highly prized for their unusually high levels of heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids. However, the high cost of harvest and transport from this exceptionally rural area limits its affordability. The highest in elevation Chinook Salmon migrate to spawn is in the Upper Salmon River and Middle Fork of the Salmon River in Idaho. These anadromous fish travel over 5,000 feet in elevation past eight dams on the Columbia and Lower Snake River.

2 responses to “Photo Post: Refraction // Counting Salmon in Bonneville Lock and Dam, Oregon

    • Thank you so much. It just so happen that we got to visit this fish ladder. I am glad you enjoy the post and I hope you got a chance to look at the fish live camera that I link to. It’s so cool. Have a great day. 🙂

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