ILWACO — It has been a better-than-expected year for salmon in the Columbia River, with Chinook, coho and steelhead returns all well above preseason forecasts. This is great news for recreational and commercial fishermen, and the local businesses they support.
Chinook returns totaled 435,500 upriver fish, with the total fall Chinook return now expected to include 514,500 adults, 22% more than the preseason forecast, according to the Columbia River Compact's Oct. 6 fact sheet.
Early-stock coho — defined as those passing Bonneville Dam through Sept. 30 — totaled 91,649 adults, nearly three times the predicted 33,880 fish.
The late stock coho count at Bonneville Dam through Oct. 6 was 8,938. The late stock preseason forecast was 9,400. "While the late stock counts are tracking ahead of expectations, it is too early to update the run," fisheries staff said on Oct. 4.
The two different classes of steelhead monitored by the compact were running at 90% and 336% of the forecast at Bonneville as of the Oct. 6 fact sheet.
The Buoy 10 fishery — and other fisheries upstream — are currently open to retention of hatchery coho and Chinook with a two-Chinook daily adult bag limit. Through Sept. 27, total adult Chinook mortalities — kept plus released — were approximately 15,322 fish. Adult coho catches included an estimated 6,191 kept and 7,549 released.