Outdoors

Upper Columbia steelhead forecast buoys anglers

A spin-fisherman works the Salmon River downstream from Riggins, Idaho. Fishing for steelhead with spoons and spinners is often ignored by anglers. (Associated Press)
A spin-fisherman works the Salmon River downstream from Riggins, Idaho. Fishing for steelhead with spoons and spinners is often ignored by anglers. (Associated Press)

FISHING — The steelhead forecast for the Columbia and Snake rivers — just released by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife — calls for a sizeable increase in the number of fish that provided great fishing last summer in the upper Columbia River.

Joe Hymer, the WDFW salmon-steelhead monitor in Vancouver, release a fact sheet noting that 339,000 upriver summer steelhead are predicted to return to the Columbia River this year, about 110,000 more than returned in 2012.

The forecast calls for:

  • 291,000 A-runs (compared with 311,800 forecast in 2012 and 192,200 actural returns) 
  • 31,600 B-runs primarily bound for Idaho's Clearwater River (compared with 52,800 forecast and 27,700 actual returns in 2012)
  • 16,600 Skamanias, fish that return to the Columbia Gorge, Deschutes River and on upstream to Columbia tributaries in Okanogan County as well as into the Snake bound for Central Idaho (compared with 15,700 forecast and 10,900 actual returns in 2012).

See the attached document for the latest forecast for spring chinook (not looking so good), summer chinook (looking better than last year) sockeye (less than half of last year's bumper crop but still decent) and steelhead.




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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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