Biologist puts camera underwater to watch Oregon salmon spawn

Still from video by Bruce Zoellick, BLM

WELCHES, Ore. - A government scientist got down on his belly and held a camera underwater to capture footage of chinook salmon spawning in Oregon's Salmon River this week.

The Bureau of Land Management published video captured by fish biologist Bruce Zoellick.

The video shows several males competing for a female who is almost ready to lay her eggs.

“That’s a good sign, that there are enough males for that natural selection to occur,” said Zoellick.

The Lower Columbia River Chinook are listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act.

The BLM, U.S. Forest Service and The Freshwater Trust began removing dams and developing log jams to divert water into the side channels that salmon use to spawn.

Since counts began four years ago, the number of spawning spring chinook has increased from 14 in 2013 to 64 last year, BLM said.

As of October 4, this year’s count was already at 60.

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