Dozens of Dead Salmon Found On Banks of Columbia River - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Dozens of Dead Salmon Found On Banks of Columbia River

Posted: Updated:

KENNEWICK, WA. -- You may notice dozens of dead fish on the banks of the Columbia River but don't be alarmed.

The Department of Fish and Wildlife says it's a normal part of the yearly salmon migration period. But there are more dead salmon than usual because this is a historic season in terms of how many salmon are spawning in the Hanford Reach area. 

The salmon aren't dangerous to humans unless you touch or eat them. In fact, the decaying carcasses actually help feed other fish in the Columbia River.

"These fish rotting and decomposing in the river may be a little unsightly to us, but if you're a fish this is like fantastic, this is a great situation where these nutrients are coming back into the system, it feeds the whole river system," Paul Hoffarth with the Department of Fish and Wildlife said. 

Hoffarth says we can expect the dead salmon to be around for the next month or so before they decay naturally. He also urges dog owners to keep their pets away from the dead fish, eating them can make them to get extremely sick.