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Reel Time Fishing Northwest

Mark Yuasa covers fishing and outdoors in the Pacific Northwest.

June 13, 2012 at 12:08 PM

Facts on Columbia River summer chinook, sockeye and steelhead

Here are the latest facts and figures by state Fish and Wildlife on this year’s forecasts:

Upper Columbia Summer Chinook

The 2012 forecast of 91,200 adults to the Columbia River mouth is 113% of the 2011 return of 80,600 adults, and would represent the highest return since at least 1980.

Based on the 2012 forecast, daily counts at Bonneville Dam are expected to average about 2,900 Chinook per day during June 16-30 and then steadily decrease to 500 fish per day by the end of July. Passage is typically 50% complete by June 28.

Sockeye

The 2012 forecast for sockeye is for a record return of 462,000 fish to the Columbia River mouth. The forecast includes 28,800 Wenatchee stock, 431,300 Okanogan stock, and 1,900 Snake River stock.

Bonneville Dam passage through June 11 totals 9,562 sockeye, which is the highest to date since at least 1974 and consistent with the forecast. The 50% passage date is around June 24, but has been as late as July 1.

Summer Steelhead

A total of 380,300 upriver summer steelhead are expected to pass Bonneville Dam this year, which is similar to the 2002-2011 average of 383,700 fish. Lower river summer steelhead returns have averaged 78,500 fish over the past ten years.

Bonneville Dam passage during April 1-June 11 totals 4,336 summer steelhead, which is slightly less than expected based on the forecast and average run timing. The 50% passage date is around June 18 for upriver Skamania stock.

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