Fall-chinook Return in Columbia River,
The Columbia River fall-chinook return could be the largest since daily counts began at Bonneville Dam in 1939. A news release
from the Columbia Inter-Tribal Fish Commission also reported this week that the fall-chinook return to McNary Dam is a new record.
The Columbia River fall-chinook return continues to migrate upstream at near-record levels, and could be the largest since daily counts began at Bonneville Dam in 1939.
"The fall-chinook return is still holding on to second place on the all-time list," said Joe Hymer, a state Fish and Wildlife biologist.
The fall-chinook return to the mouth of the Columbia has been updated to 1,224,300 fish, and only the 2013 return of 1,268,400 stands in its way.
While October is only a little more than halfway done, it has already been a record-setting month for fall chinook at Bonneville. Through Wednesday, a record 76,529 adult fish have been counted, beating out the 50,073 tallied from October 1-14 in 2013.
"Except for three of the 14 days this October, daily counts have set new records at the dam," Hymer said. "With 2.5 months to go (in 2015) and a gain of 26,000 fish at Bonneville so far in October, could 2015 make up the 44,000-fish difference from 2013, and become a new record? Stay tuned."
A news release from the Columbia Inter-Tribal Fish Commission also reported this week that the fall-chinook return to McNary Dam is a new record.
The single-day count of 4,672 fish this past Monday boosted the season total at the 61-year-old dam to 456,043, breaking the previous high of 454,991 set in 2013.
This season's salmon fishery got off to a hot start around Buoy 10 at the Columbia River when fishing opened Aug. 1, and it continues to remain good from Kalama up to the Hanford Reach area and beyond.
Last week, 4,765 angler trips on Lower Columbia produced a catch of 1,824 adult chinook (35 were released), 145 adult coho (53) and 14 summer steelhead (four). Best catches occurred in the gorge, but places from Troutdale downstream to Longview had their glory moments.
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