Follow us:

Reel Time Fishing Northwest

Mark Yuasa covers fishing and outdoors in the Pacific Northwest.

February 27, 2011 at 5:58 PM

Good fall chinook return expected in the Columbia River

This is a story that ran in my Sunday outdoor notebook:

If the projected return of 760,600 fall chinook comes anywhere close, it could equate to some memorable fishing off the coast and in the Columbia River during the late summer and fall.

“It’s pretty impressive, and would be the fifth largest run going back to at least 1948,” said Joe Hymer, a state Fish and Wildlife biologist.

Last year’s ocean fishery returned 648,600, with a forecast of 652,700.

Fall chinook are broken down into six stocks, and there’s just about nothing that looks bad on the computer-generated predictions.

The upriver bright chinook stock forecast is 398,200 (310,800 was forecast last year and actual return was 324,900), and is the second largest return since record keeping began in 1964.

“That is a lot of upriver brights in the mix, and looks pretty darn good,” Hymer said.

The largest upriver bright return was 420,700 in 1987, and more than 60 percent of the 2011 return is expected to be larger 4-year-olds.

The lower river hatchery chinook forecast is 133,500 (90,600 and 103,000), and would be the best return since 2003 and larger than the 10-year average.

The lower river wild chinook forecast is 12,500 (9,700 and 10,900) and improved over the past four years, but slightly below the 10-year average.

The Bonneville Pool hatchery chinook forecast of 116,400 (169,000 and 130,800) is a bit down but still better than the 10-year average.

The Bonneville upriver bright chinook forecast is 37,600 (30,300 and 29,400), the 10-year average is 47,500.

The Columbia Pool upriver bright chinook forecast is 62,400 (42,300 and 49,600) the third largest return on record (1986 was a record return), and higher than the 10-year average of 43,800.

This comes on the heels of what should be a modest return of coho salmon as well.

It will not be a stellar year for ocean coho, but we’ll see a little better number in the Columbia River run, according to Doug Milward, a state Fish and Wildlife coastal-salmon manager.

The Oregon Production Index, which provides an ocean abundance forecast calls for 624,500 coho to arrive off the Washington coast, compared to a preseason forecast of 556,000 last year (818,100 was the actual return).

State Fish and Wildlife will unveil its forecasts at 9 a.m. Tuesday at a public meeting in the General Administration Building Auditorium, 11th Avenue and Columbia Street in Olympia. Final seasons will be set April 9-14 in San Mateo, Calif. For a list of North of Falcon meetings go to this Web site.

Comments

COMMENTS

No personal attacks or insults, no hate speech, no profanity. Please keep the conversation civil and help us moderate this thread by reporting any abuse. See our Commenting FAQ.



The opinions expressed in reader comments are those of the author only, and do not reflect the opinions of The Seattle Times.


The Seattle Times

The door is closed, but it's not locked.

Take a minute to subscribe and continue to enjoy The Seattle Times for as little as 99 cents a week.

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Subscriber login ►
The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription upgrade.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. For unlimited seattletimes.com access, please upgrade your digital subscription.

Call customer service at 1.800.542.0820 for assistance with your upgrade or questions about your subscriber status.

The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. Subscribe now for unlimited access!

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Activate Subscriber Account ►