- Associated Press - Wednesday, July 15, 2015

JOHN DAY, Ore. (AP) - The drought and low mountain snowpack continue to take a toll on salmon in Oregon.

The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife said Wednesday biologists counted 109 dead chinook salmon in the John Day River east of the eastern Oregon town of John Day.

Biologist Brent Smith attributes the deaths to water temperatures in the mid-70s, which are considered lethal for salmon.

Low snowpack and drought have left most rivers in the West with low flows, particularly those without dams like the John Day.

The department says similar die-offs happened in 2007 and 2013, and that section of the river is marked by little vegetation along the banks that would shade and cool the water.

Earlier this summer, salmon were dying in warm water in the Willamette and Deschutes rivers.

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