The Columbia River sockeye returns could very well be ahead of the 347,000 preseason forecast and single-day counts have been robust this week.
“It is a really healthy sockeye return so far,” said Joe Hymer, a state Fish and Wildlife biologist. “The run has the potential of being bigger (than the preseason forecast), and we’re at the peak of the return right now.”
On Thursday, June 26, the single-day count at Bonneville Dam was 30,262; and Wednesday, June 25 it hit 27,173.
The sockeye count on Thursday, according to Hymer ranks as the sixth best single-day figure. The highest single-day return occurred in 2012 when it hit 41,573 on June 26.
The cumulative return of sockeye at Bonneville this season now sits at 224,679 fish.
“Now if only (Lower Columbia) anglers could just figure out how to catch them,” Hymer said. “The slower moving pool areas in the upper river are where most of the catch occurs.”
Those include places like the Brewster Pool in the Upper Columbia where catches should start to ramp up later in July.
There has also been some decent catches of sockeye occurring in Bonneville Pool this past week.