News: Projections of low spring Chinook returns limit Columbia River fishing seasons
by Chinook Observer
VANCOUVER, Wash. — Fishery managers from Washington and Oregon today approved a sport fishery for spring Chinook salmon on the Columbia River that reflects a significant reduction in the number of fish available for harvest this year.
According to preseason projections, about 99,300 upriver spring Chinook will reach the Columbia this year, down 14 percent from last year and 50 percent below the 10-year average. Those fish return to hatcheries and spawning areas upriver from Bonneville Dam.
In addition, fishery managers are also expecting much lower returns than last year to several major lower Columbia River tributaries, particularly the Cowlitz and Lewis rivers. On the Cowlitz, this year’s spring Chinook run is projected to reach just 11 percent of the 10-year average and fall short of meeting hatchery production goals.