Holy smokin' salmon, chinook run size nearly doubles in three days

I've been impatiently waiting for this to happen, but these numbers even caught me a little off guard. The chinook salmon run at Bonneville nearly doubled in three days. From May 7 through May 9, 39,517 fish crossed Bonneville Dam, including 18,436 on Wednesday, May 9. Prior to that three-day burst, a total of 42,346 had crossed the dam.

This year's run has been tardy (by our standards at least, maybe the fish beg to differ), but now they're charging in. By comparison, the highest single-day count last year was 15,766 fish on May 1, and the peak of the bell curve for the run was May 1 to May 6.

It's still too early to know if this year's run will live up to predictions of a banner year, but these signs are certainly encouraging. I think fishing is going to go nuts on the Salmon and Little Salmon rivers in the early to mid June, so start clearing your calendar and stock up on pencil lead.