Columbia River Sockeye Returning in
by Mark Yuasa
Word came filtering out of the state Fish and Wildlife office in Vancouver this morning about some huge sockeye numbers being seen in the Lower Columbia River.
The 25,011 sockeye counted at Bonneville Dam on Sunday, Jule 20 was the second highest single-day count since at least 1938. The record is 27,112 fish on July 7, 1955.
The total number of sockeye that have passed up Bonneville Dam so far this summer is 82,055. The count at The Dalles Dam is 38,830; at the John Day Dam it is 21,354; at McNary Dam it is 9,199.
This summer the preseason forecast calls for 125,200 sockeye back to the Columbia River. Of that the majority of them are destined for the Okanogan River with a smolt based forecast of 110,300.
The rest of that 14,300 will be heading back to the Wenatchee River and the spawning escapement is close to twice that figure so a summer fishery on Lake Wenatchee is highly unlikely. Last year the lake hosted a brief summer sockeye fishery.
Another 600 sockeye are headed back to the Snake River.
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