Poor Chinook, Steelhead Runs Forecastby Staff
Idaho Mountain Express, March 11, 2020
The Idaho Department of Fish and Game is forecasting Chinook salmon and steelhead runs this year to be only about half the previous 10-year average, and sockeye salmon runs to be about average.
The forecasts are made for adult anadromous fish returning from the ocean at Lower Granite Dam, the uppermost of four dams on the lower Snake River.
The department’s Salmon and Steelhead Run Forecast for 2020, presented to Gov. Brad Little’s salmon workgroup in Nampa on March 5, predicts that 37,134 spring and summer Chinook will pass the dam on their way upstream to Idaho, well under the past 10-year average of 78,129 fish. It predicts 18,150 fall Chinook, also well below the 10-year average of 38,170.
The steelhead forecast is for 49,670 fish, also well under the 10-year average of 116,763 fish.
The forecast for sockeye salmon is 1,443 fish, just over the 10-year average of 953 fish.
Due to the low numbers of returning steelhead, the Fish and Game Commission has reduced bag limits statewide for the 2020 seasons. On the Salmon River, the steelhead limits for the spring season are one steelhead a day and three in possession, with no size restriction. The season limit is 20.
All limits are for adipose-clipped, hatchery-raised steelhead only. Wild steelhead with an intact adipose fin must be released immediately.
Executive Summary: The Early Warning Indicator by bluefish.org
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'Every Fish Counts': Giving B-run a Lift by Eric Barker, Lewiston Tribune, 10/4/19
The Grim Outlook for Columbia Basin Salmon and Steelhead by Yancy Lind, Lewiston Tribune, 9/18/19
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Steelhead Run Lagging Behind Forecast by Eric Barker, Lewiston Tribune, 8/16/19
Poor Steelhead Returns will Likely Impact Small Towns that Bank on Anglers by Eric Barker, Coeur d'Alene Press, 9/6/18
Steelhead Fishing Closed on Large Section of Columbia River by Eric Barker, Coeur d'Alene Press, 9/6/18
States Slash Steelhead Bag Limits by Eric Barker, Lewiston Tribune, 9/2/18
States Close Columbia River to Steelhead Retention by Staff, Columbia Basin Bulletin, 8/30/18
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Steelhead A-run Still Missing in Action by Eric Barker, Lewiston Tribune, 8/31/18
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