Outdoors

Biologists lower expectations for Columbia steelhead

Steelhead caught by fly fisher and released on Grande Ronde River, Washington. (Rich Landers)
Steelhead caught by fly fisher and released on Grande Ronde River, Washington. (Rich Landers)

FISHING — Uh-oh.  Not only have the steelhead been slow to come up the Columbia River and in to the Snake — many of the fish we thought would be coming won't be coming at all.

Fish managers from Washington and Oregon have downgraded their forecast of A-Run steelhead moving up into the Columbia system.

Despite that, there's a bunch of steelhead already in the system and many of them are ready to start pouring over Lower Granite Dam any day.

But here's the not-so-great news just released by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.

  • The Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) met Monday August 27 to review steelhead stock status.  TAC updated the forecast for Group A upriver summer steelhead to 191,000, or 61.3% of the 311,800 fish preseason forecast. 
  • The 191,000 Group A steelhead return would be the lowest since 1999 (176,500). 
  • TAC agreed it was too early to update the Group B run size, but recognized Group B passage was tracking less than expected, indicating the Group B run may also be less than forecast.



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Rich Landers

Rich Landers’ Outdoors blog


Rich Landers writes and photographs stories for a wide range of outdoors coverage, including a Sunday feature section and a Thursday column. He also writes the Outdoors Blog.


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