Time to Fish
by Eric Barker
Tri-City Herald, May 10, 2011
Chinook are storming up the Columbia and Snake Rivers and it's time to go fishing.
More than 2,000 were counted at Lower Granite Dam on Monday and the counts at Bonneville Dam on the Columbia River are holding steady. Fisheries managers announced they are now confident in the pre-season prediction that called for 198,000 spring and summer chinook to return at least as far as the mouth of the Columbia River.
Idaho Fish and Game officials predict that anglers in the Clearwater Basin will be able to catch 4,700 fish and those in the Salmon River basin will have a harvest share of about 8,400. Don Whitney, a harvest manager for the department, said if counts hold high the bag limit might be raised from one adult per day on the Clearwater River to two adults per day. Officials plan to make a decision early next week.
Whiteny said early information from pit tag detections indicate about 17 percent of the hatchery return to the Clearwater River basin will be made up of five-year-old fish that have spent three years in the ocean and about 10 percent of the chinook bound for the Rapid River Hatchery are three-ocean fish. Chinook that have spent three years in the ocean can be expected to weigh 25 to 30 pounds.
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