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Reel Time Fishing Northwest

Mark Yuasa covers fishing and outdoors in the Pacific Northwest.

June 24, 2010 at 1:41 PM

Columbia River inseason sockeye return figure has been increased

A huge surge of sockeye continues to enter the Columbia River, and the main focus is whether or not sport fishing will open soon.

The Columbia River sockeye counts at Bonneville Dam through June 23 total 164,431 fish.

The daily counts at Bonneville have exceeded record highs, and yesterday’s (June 23) single day count was 30,374. That is a brand new record since Bonneville Dam was erected in 1938.

Sockeye passage is typically 50-percent complete by June 25.

The preseason forecast was for 125,200 fish including 14,300 Wenatchee stock, or 62-percent of the escapement goal for that system.

The Technical Advisory Committee a group of fisheries managers from Washington, Oregon and the tribes met on June 23, and upgraded the sockeye return to 250,000 fish, which should also allow the Wenatchee escapement goal of 23,000 to be met.

The largest all-time sockeye return happened in 1947 when 335,300 returned.

What that means for sport fisheries in Lake Wenatchee are still up in the air until the actual numbers of sockeye start arriving back there. Last summer the lake hosted a brief sport fishery.

Fisheries managers are also meeting this afternoon (June 24) to decide on opening the Lower Columbia River to sockeye sport fishing.

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