TACOMA, Wash., Oct. 13 (UPI) — Pink salmon, which for decades were virtually non-existent in Washington state’s White River, have returned in record numbers, U.S. wildlife officials said.
Factors such as dam improvements, the removal of a pipeline which acted as a barrier and climatic changes that have expanded the pink salmon’s Pacific Ocean range, contributed to the 470, 000 salmon found in the river and transported by crews to their spawning grounds above the Mud Mountain Dam near Buckley, Wash., the Tacoma News Tribune reported Tuesday.
“I do believe this is a record number of salmon hauled at any facility in the country in a single season,” U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service biologist Steve Fransen said.
Previously, the record for pink salmon at the dam was set in 2007 at 127,541. In 2003, there were only 13,190, the newspaper reported.
The record numbers have caused increased costs in transporting them. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which runs recreation and flood control operations on the White River, received an additional $460,000 in federal stimulus funds for this purpose, Andrea Takash, a spokeswoman for the Corps’ Seattle District Office, said.
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