"BOISE, Idaho -- Sockeye entered the Columbia River in recent weeks, beginning a 900-mile migration that very nearly ended 20 years ago."
"Only four Snake River sockeye made their way through eight dams and past nets and predators in 1992, a year after the fish that makes its home in Idaho's Sawtooth Valley was listed as endangered. Only one male completed the final climb up the Snake and Salmon rivers to a weir on Redfish Lake Creek on Aug. 4.
Allyson Coonts, the 7-year-old daughter of Sawtooth Hatchery technician Phil Coonts, named the sockeye Lonesome Larry. When then-Idaho Gov. Cecil Andrus put the stuffed fish on his office wall, Lonesome Larry became the symbol of the entire Snake and Columbia salmon restoration program.
'What took it national was an Andrus interview with New York Times reporter Tim Egan,' said Andy Brunelle, who was Andrus' natural resources policy staffer."
Rocky Barker reports for McClatchy/Idaho Statesman May 29, 2012.