Outdoors

Fewer fish to follow record sockeye year

Randy and Chase Plischke of Spokane with their mixed bag of Chinook and Sockeye after fishing the Upper Columbia River Brewster Pool. (Anton Jones)
Randy and Chase Plischke of Spokane with their mixed bag of Chinook and Sockeye after fishing the Upper Columbia River Brewster Pool. (Anton Jones)

FISHERIES — A record 515,700 sockeye salmon was counted this year at Bonneville Dam on the Columbia River, the Washington Fish and Wildlife Department reports.

The run count — the most since counting began at Bonneville Dam in 1938 — far exceeded the agency's preseason forecast of 462,000 fish.

The record run translated into a record 3,400 sockeye caught by sport anglers during the summer season in river reaches below the dam. 

So many fish reached the Upper Columbia, the Brewster pool region was covered with boats as anglers fished for their generous daily limits of six sockeye and six chinook.

For 2013, a total of 180,500 sockeye are predicted to return to the Columbia River basin, less than half of last year's 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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