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Reel Time Fishing Northwest

Mark Yuasa covers fishing and outdoors in the Pacific Northwest.

June 23, 2010 at 2:11 PM

Columbia River sockeye still returning in big numbers along with kings and steelhead

The Columbia River sockeye returns continue to wax the expectations, and state fisheries managers will meet tomorrow afternoon (June 24) to see whether or not to open sockeye fishing.

Through Tuesday, 134,056 have passed above Bonneville Dam, and the preseason forecast was 125,200.

The 26,873 sockeye counted at Bonneville Dam Tuesday was the second highest single-day count since at least 1938. The record is 27,112 fish on July 7, 1955. By Wednesday another 25,128 were tallied. Typically the run peaks around July 1.

The summer chinook and steelhead fishery in the Lower Columbia River remains decent at midweek with some monster-sized kings pushing 40 pounds.

Water flows are going up and down like a yo-yo, which has made it tough to fish. The commercial fishery last week caught 2,500 kings. The fleet fished last night (June 22) as well but no numbers of kings caught were drafted yet.

According to fisheries biologist that commercial catch is a solid take of kings who fished from I-205 Bridge downstream, and last night in all the fishing zones.

Summer chinook single-day counts at Bonneville Dam are growing and have been averaging more than 3,000 fish.

The sturgeon fishery in the lower river is just limping around and shows no signs of improvement. State fishery managers will also discuss the sturgeon fishery at tomorrow’s meeting.

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