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Spring Chinook Run Strong, But Not Stellar

by Staff and Wire Reports
Spokesman-Review, December 19, 2010

Run of 198,400 set for upstream of Bonneville Dam

David Wells of Edmonds washes two spring chinook in April in the Columbia River at Marine Park. FISHING -- State biologists are predicting a good spring chinook salmon run to the Columbia River, but down from the big run of 2010.

Adding to the excitement, the run should have 62,400 age 5 spring chinook fish that are slightly larger and return a bit earlier than the 4-year-old component of the Willamette-bound run that fuels the ultra-popular March-April fishery in the lower Columbia.

Early estimates call for 158,000 springers moving into the system, down from 307,348 counted over Bonneville Dam this year.

The Snake River portion of the forecast run is 91,100, down from nearly 170,000 that arrived this year.

While the 2011 run looks to be short of the 2010 run, it figures high among runs in the past 20 years or so, Oregon Fish and Wildlife fish managers say.

The 2011 run, if it comes in as forecast, would be the sixth-largest spring chinook run since 1979.

The upper Columbia summer steelhead return is expected to be similar to the 10-year average, which is not bad.

Shad returns have declined six consecutive years. The 1 million shad run of 2010 compares to a 10-year average of 3.1 million.

Staff and Wire Reports
Spring Chinook Run Strong, But Not Stellar
Spokesman-Review, December 19, 2010

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