Kokanee Spawn this Year in Dolores River

A November Cortez Journal article reported that due to increased flows on the Dolores River from summer monsoon rains, the kokanee salmon had enough water to make their spawning run this year. Last year, there was no run because the lake was so low. In low water years, the river carves a wide channel in the lake bed that is too shallow for the kokanee salmon to make their way to spawning grounds, 5 miles up-river at a specially designed fish hatchery. The kokanee spawning zone on the Dolores River is a system of ponds that drain into a concrete-formed ‘raceway,’ controlled by gates, sieves, and fish cages. The females lay their eggs in the fine gravel and then die, becoming meals for wildlife.