Capturing a Good Day for Returning Salmon

Salmon are returning from the Pacific Ocean to the Columbia River in big numbers this year.

Tony Grover, fish and wildlife division director, was at Bonneville Dam on September 11 when about 40,000 salmon passed over the dam.

"So far, this is the second largest adult return of Chinook salmon, and the third largest run of coho, since records began in 1938," says Grover.

The largest fish in the center of the photo, a wild Chinook salmon, appears to be over three feet in length. Wild fish retain their adipose fin, the small top fin near the tail. Hatchery fish usually have that fin clipped when the fish is very small, helping to make it easier to identify as a hatchery fish.