MEDFORD, Ore. (AP) -- After decades of counting live salmon and steelhead reaching the upper Rogue River, biologists will be stuck counting only dead ones if Gold Ray Dam and its long-standing fish-counting station disappear as proposed next fall.

Jackson County is weighing whether to remove the dam to get rid of a century-old roadblock to salmon spawning, and it has been offered $5 million in federal stimulus money to help pay for it.

While removing the dam would improve conditions for salmon, it would also bring an end to a fisheries database that goes back to 1942.

Russ Stauf of the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife says the fish counts alone are no reason to keep the dam.

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