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Reel Time Fishing Northwest

Mark Yuasa covers fishing and outdoors in the Pacific Northwest.

October 18, 2010 at 8:14 PM

Fall Columbia River salmon and steelhead returns looking good

The Columbia River was the place to be for salmon and steelhead anglers this summer, and it’s now carrying on right into autumn.

The current in-season run size estimate for Upriver Bright fall chinook is 326,500 adult fish to the Columbia River mouth. The preseason forecast was 319,200 fish.

Fall chinook passage at Lower Granite Dam during Aug. 18 through Oct. 6 totals 36,644 adult chinook, which is more than double the previous record high.

Based on passage through Oct. 7, the total adult fall chinook return to Hanford Reach is 88,097. This is an expansion based on the 12-year average. Using the most recent two years the estimate increases slightly to 88,911.

The coho returns appear to be tracking at or above preseason expectations for both the early and late stocks with 78-percent of the total expected return already accounted for.

The Technical Advisory Committee met Tuesday, Oct. 12, and agreed the coho return appeared to be tracking at or above preseason expectations, but did not officially provide an in-season run size update.

The 89,000 adult coho counted at Bonneville Dam through Oct. 11 is greater than the season total expectation of 83,000 fish. The highest daily count to date was nearly 6,000 fish on Oct. 11.

TAC met on Oct. 4, and updated the Group A steelhead run to 314,000 fish (28-percent were wild fish) and the Group B run to 71,000 fish (20-percent were wild fish) at Bonneville Dam. Preseason forecasts were 337,500 and 99,100 (combined hatchery and wild fish), respectively.

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