Spring Chinook on 2 Rivers
The final totals are in for spring chinook on the Columbia and Willamette rivers and for wild winter steelhead on the Columbia River, and the totals met or exceeded preseason expectations.
The totals were released Friday in the "Final 2006 In-Season Winter/Spring Fact Sheet" from the Oregon and Washington departments of Fish and Wildlife.
The final run of upriver Columbia spring chinook is estimated at 132,200 fish after a preseason estimate of 88,400 fish.
But the late arrival of the run, the most laggard on record, still closed Columbia springer fishing April 14, six days early, when the run hadn't shown.
Fishing reopened May 17 through June 15, with the allowed catch area extending upriver to Bonneville Dam from the previous deadline at the Interstate 5 Bridge in Portland.
On the Willamette, the projected final run size of 56,700 beat the preseason estimate of 56,700 spring chinook. Biologists estimate that about 10 percent of that run is made of nonhatchery natives.
The number of Columbia River nonhatchery native steelhead, protection of which is a key driving factor in season-setting for spring chinook, came in at about the 16,000-fish preseason forecast, according to biologists.
During the on-again, off-again season, there were an estimated 87,000 angler trips downriver from Bonneville Dam, with sport anglers keeping about 7,000 spring chinook and releasing about 2,500.
An estimated 2,400 hatchery steelhead were caught and kept, with about 350 wild winter steelhead caught and released.
learn more on topics covered in the film
see the video
read the script
learn the songs