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Reel Time Fishing Northwest

Mark Yuasa covers fishing and outdoors in the Pacific Northwest.

September 9, 2014 at 9:43 AM

Fall chinook record count at Bonneville bites the dust for a second day in a row

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Those who thought Sunday’s all-time record single-day chinook count at Bonneville Dam would hold up for some time should take note that this might be just the first in the days ahead of what is yet to come up the fish ladder and past the viewing the window.

The single-day fall chinook count hit 67,024 on Sunday, Sept. 7, and by Monday, Sept. 8 it topped 67,521, surpassing the previous all-time record of 63,870 from Sept. 9, 2013.

The numbers really began to build as the single-day count hit 40,367 on Saturday, Sept. 6.

Through Monday, 359,258 fall kings had made the 146 mile trek up the Columbia to Bonneville Dam from the entrance to the ocean. This year’s fall chinook forecast is 1.5-million, and could be the largest since 1938, which would easily surpass last year’s record return of 1.2-million.

Warm water temperatures from just below Bonneville Dam clear down to the Buoy-10 at the Lower Columbia mouth has likely slowed the migration timing, and this could mean even bigger numbers of fall kings are headed toward the dam in the days ahead.

This year’s record king return has provided some superb fishing in the ocean from Neah Bay clear down to Ilwaco with coastwide catch averages for coho and kings hovering between 1.12 and 1.59 fish per rod since the summer season opened on June 14.

 

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