Forgot to post this update late this week by Joe Hymer, a state Fish and Wildlife biologist in Vancouver on the state of spring chinook catches in the Lower Columbia River sport fishery:
Expectations for the fishery, which is scheduled to continue through April 5, include a kept catch of 6,100 adult spring chinook from 63,500 angler trips. Mark rates and stock composition are expected to vary dependant on time and geographic area. The mark rate is expected to be around 80 percent for the season. Upriver fish are expected to represent 60-65 percent of the catch in areas downstream of I-5, and close to 100 percent in areas upstream of I-5 bridge.
Through March 17, and estimated 424 adult spring Chinook were kept from nearly 21,000 angler trips. Mark rate is 78 percent and upriver fish represent 65 percent of the total kept catch. The fishery is just getting underway in terms of catch, with just 7 percent of the expected catch in hand. Angler effort to date is similar to expectations, but catch rates are currently tracking less than expected. River conditions are considered good, so catch rates should be improving as the run progresses.
(Photo courtesy of The Seattle Times photo archive)