May 9: 6th Best Springer Day Ever At Bonneville

Yesterday saw the biggest single-day count of spring Chinook of the last nine years, fifth largest back through the early 2000’s renaissance of the run and sixth largest back to the late 1930s: 18,436.

We had an inkling Wednesday would be big when we heard that the count as of 1 p.m. was roughly 7,900, or roughly 608 every 60 minutes.

But the afternoon and evening rush hours were apparently even thicker with salmon trying to get through Bonneville’s two fish ladders.

A total of 9,750 went through Bradford Island on the Oregon side while 8,686 went through the Washington side ladder.

The former figure itself is higher than totals for every day of this year’s return except Tuesday and Wednesday.

And yesterday’s aggregate brings the three-day total to 39,517 springers, meaning almost half of 2012’s run, which now is up to 81,863, has come through the dam since Monday.

The top five all-time best days are April 18, 2001 (27,020), April 30, 2002 (25,631), May 1, 2002 (20,847), April 29, 1972 (19241)  and April 15, 2001 (19,192).

In recent years, the best single day has been May 1, 2011 when 15,766 went through.

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