Spring Chinook Run Feted
by Rich Landers
Spring chinook salmon are causing a stir among anglers.
Idaho is gearing up, as forecasts call for about 130,000 spring chinook - the fourth-largest run since 1979 - making their way upstream and over Lower Granite Dam, the last Snake River dam the fish must climb before reaching Idaho waters.
While the fish haven't yet moved this far upstream, a record 3,275 spring salmon fishing boats were counted April 4 on 146 miles of the lower Columbia from Bonneville Dam downstream to the mouth as more fish moved into the river and catch rates picked up, according to Washington Fish and Wildlife Department creel surveys.
Fisheries managers expect 298,900 spring chinook to head into the Columbia. The upriver run typically peaks, in terms of numbers passing Bonneville, in late April or early May, but the run appears to be late for the fifth consecutive year. The run-size forecast will be updated around late April.
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