PRIEST RAPIDS DAM, Wash. (AP) - The Yakama Nation expects to wrap up its 2012 sockeye collection this week at the Columbia River's Priest Rapids Dam.
The tribe is in its fourth year of a program to reintroduce sockeye salmon to the Yakima River Basin. Tribal fisheries workers collected 8,500 sockeye Tuesday at Priest Rapids Dam on the Columbia River and another 500 fish Wednesday.
One-thousand fish are expected to be captured Thursday, bringing the total number of sockeye captured in 2012 to 10,000. The fish will be released into Lake Cle Elum, where they will spawn this fall.
The eventual goal is to have a self-sustaining run of sockeye available for tribal fishermen and all residents of the Yakima Valley. Sockeye were eradicated in central Washington rivers when the rivers were dammed, barring fish passage.