FISHING -- The forecast is bright for the "upriver bright" fall chinook salmon headed primarily to the Hanford Reach of the Columbia this summer and fall.
This year's run of fall chinook salmon to the Columbia River basin is expected to be the fifth largest since at least 1948, and nearly 200,000 fish higher than the recent 10-year average return, according to preseason forecasts released last week by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.
The forecast is beefed up by estimates for a large upriver bright component of 398,200 adult fish to the mouth of the Columbia River. That would be the second largest since record-keeping began in 1964. The largest return was 420,700 in 1987.
Savvy anglers know the largest share of upriver brights are destined for the Hanford Reach section of the Columbia River, Priest Rapids Hatchery, and the Snake River with smaller portions headed for the Deschutes and Yakima rivers.
See a detailed story in the Columbia Basin Bulletin.