FISHING -- Fall chinook fishing in the Hanford Reach of the Columbia River continues to improve toward the peak of the season with boats averaging a chinook per boat this past week, according to Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife biologist Paul Hoffarth. Here are details from his weekly report:
Best fishing was in the Vernita area at 1.5 chinook per boat, followed by Ringold (1.3 fish /boat), White Bluffs (1.2 fish /boat), and Snyder (0.6 fish /boat).
WDFW staff interviewed anglers from 893 boats (2,130 boat anglers) and 127 bank anglers (Ringold access area) with a harvest of 1,136 adult chinook and 102 jacks. Daily boat counts ranged from 111 to 530 boats. An estimated 2,548 adult chinook and 193 jacks were harvested this past week.
Through September 18, 3,776 adult chinook and 357 jacks have been harvested in the Hanford Reach from 14,051 angler trips.
Large numbers of fall chinook continue to be counted moving upstream through the McNary fish ladders. The first in-season run update for the Hanford Reach was calculated this week. The in-season update for the Hanford Reach natural origin (wild) fall chinook is 126,803 well below the forecast but still a strong return. In-season updates will be calculated weekly through mid-October.