FISHING -- Now's the time to head to the Snake River for spring chinook.
Counts of chinook passing lower Snake River dams are on the rise and water conditions are more than respectable, according to a Lewiston Tribune update story by Eric Barker.
“Flows are also looking good, so those fish should spread upriver fast," Joe DuPont, regional fisheries manager from the Idaho Department of Fish and Game at Lewiston, said in my earlier blog post. Expect the fishing to really pick up from here on out,”
- That opinion was echoed for the Washington stretch of the Snake by Glen Mendell, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife fisheries biologist.
Through Thursday, 35,894 spring chinook adults had passed over Ice Harbor Dam, the first on the Snake, and the fish are marching upstream:
- 28,824 over Lower Monumental Dam.
- 16,632 over Little Goose Dam.
- 13,383 over Lower Granite Dam, the last dam the fish negotiate before heading up the Snake River into Idaho bound for the Clearwater and Salmon rivers.
Read on for more details from Barker's story:
Earlier this week, salmon managers from state, federal and tribal fisheries agencies said the run of spring chinook bound for the Columbia River and its tributaries above Bonneville Dam will hit at least 185,000 and could likely surpass that number. The Snake River run accounts for the majority of those fish.
Anglers in the lower Columbia have already caught 9,276 chinook and commercial fishermen have harvested another 1,715. Anglers fishing in the Columbia River above Bonneville Dam have caught 1,217. Counting fish caught in the lower Snake River, Oregon and Washington anglers have harvested 12,291 upriver spring chinook. Between the two states, that total could climb as high as 16,700 based on the latest run update. That compares to a harvest share estimate of about 11,200 for Idaho anglers.