Spring Chinook Numbers Released
Lewiston Tribune, January 30, 2009
Make room in your freezer: There is a good chance this year will bring fantastic spring and summer chinook fishing on area rivers.
The Idaho Department of Fish and Game is predicting 106,000 adult hatchery spring and summer chinook will return past Lower Granite Dam this year. That means there could be as many as 47,000 hatchery chinook available for sport anglers.
"If (the prediction) comes to fruition, this is the second biggest run in the last three decades," said Sam Sharr, a fisheries biologist with the Idaho Department of Fish and Game at Boise.
The bulk of the run is forecast to return to the Salmon River and its tributaries but fishing should be hot on the Clearwater River as well where sport anglers will be able to collectively catch about 9,000 hatchery chinook, three times more than last year. Anglers fishing the lower Salmon and Little Salmon rivers could catch about 9,600 chinook. The biggest portion of the return is heading to the South Fork of the Salmon River where the sport angling harvest share is predicted to be 18,400 chinook.
Earlier this year, fisheries managers predicted a large spring and summer chinook run would enter the Columbia River. But forecasts for the Snake River below Lower Granite Dam were not released until Thursday at an Idaho Fish and Game Commission meeting in Boise.
For more on this story, see Saturday's Lewiston Tribune.
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