Posts tagged: Hanford Reach
NATURE — Franklin County is considering legal action into the federal government's steps to apply endangered species protections to rare wildflowers found in areas such as the Hanford Reach of the Columbia River.
Franklin County commissioners voted 3-0 Tuesday to hire outside lawyers to look into suing the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service over its pending endangered classification of the yellow-flowering White Bluffs bladderpod, which grows only in a small area along the Columbia River in the county.
The plan calls for designating 2,861 acres of land in Franklin County as critical habitat for the colorful plant that’s part of the cabbage family. Most of that is federal land managed by the Hanford Reach National Monument, but 419 acres is on private land owned by people who say they are concerned.
Top recent outdoors-related stories in The Spokesman-Review include:
FISHING — Plan now for plenty of free time this fall to get on board with a potential record run of fall chinook salmon forecast for the Hanford Reach of the Columbia River.
The preliminary forecast released by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife last week predicts the largest run of of the BIG upriver brights bound for the Hanford Reach since records have been kept.
The forecast is for 432,500 upriver brights, which would top the record of 420,700 that actually came up the river in 1987.
Last year, 353,500 upriver brights were forecast in February, but the actual return were 298,000.
Snake River wild chinook are forecast for a big increase this year. Last year 15,100 were forecast and 16,700 showed up. This year, however, the forecast calls for 31,600 wild chinook.
The total forecast of 677,900 Columbia River fall chinook to lower and upper river fisheries is greater than the 10-year average actual return (547,900) and would be the highest return since 2004 if the forecast holds.
FISHING —Starting immediately, anglers can keep any hatchery steelhead on the Hanford Reach of the Columbia River, the Washington Fish and Wildlife Department has just announced.
This action removes the requirement for both an adipose fin clip and ventral fin clip for hatchery steelhead retained prior to Nov. 1. The Lower Hanford Reach will remain open for hatchery steelhead fishing after Oct. 31 under the current permanent regulation listed in the fishing rules pamphlet (Page 74) and is scheduled to run through March 31.
Read on for more details from WDFW.
FISHING — The first half of October has produced good fishing for chinook salmon on the the Hanford Reach of the Columbia. Here's the Oct. 1-14 creel report just posted by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.
WDFW staff interviewed 659 anglers from 276 boats with 353 adult Chinook and 167 jacks this past week. An estimated 1,548 adult fall Chinook and 732 jacks were harvested (1.9 chinook per boat). A total of 2,890 anglers trips were made to the Hanford Reach to fish for fall Chinook this past week. All areas continue to report strong catches.
For the fishery, August 1 through October 14, an estimated 8,451 adult Chinook and 3,567 jacks have been harvested.
The current in-season run forecast for the Hanford Reach estimates the 2012 fall Chinook return at 69,000 adults.
ENDANGERED SPECIES — Two plants found exclusively on or adjacent to Washington’s Hanford National Monument warrant protection under the Endangered Species Act, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced today.
The Service is proposing to list the Umtanum desert buckwheat and the White Bluffs bladderpod as threatened. A species listed as threatened is considered likely to become endangered within the foreseeable future throughout all or a significant portion of its range.
The agency is also proposing to designate critical habitat for each plant: approximately 344 acres for Umtanum Desert buckwheat and approximately 2,861 acres for White Bluffs bladderpod. All of the land proposed for critical habitat for the Umtanum Desert buckwheat is federally-owned. Of the 2,861acres proposed as critical habitat for the bladderpod 2,400 are federally-owned. The remainder of the proposed critical habitat is a mix of state (42 acres) and private lands (419 acres).
Read on for details.
SALMON FISHING — Washington Fish and Wildlife Staff staff interviewed 796 anglers in 339 boats with 410 chinook salmon adults, 95 jacks and 1 coho last weekend, according to a report filed today.
Vernita and the Waluke boat ramps had the majority of the catch.
Effort on the lower river has seen a decline in the past two weeks as fish moved have into the middle and upper sections of the Reach.
SALMON FISHING — Just received: The latest Hanford Reach salmon fishing report for Joe Hymer, the Columbia River salmon man from Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.
Staff interviewed 353 boats last week with 203 adult Chinook, 33 jacks, and 3 coho. Anglers averaged slightly better than a half a fish per boat. An estimated 845 adult Chinook, 137 jacks, and 12 coho were harvested this past week. Effort is spreading out throughout the Hanford Reach and the Tri-cities. An estimated 3,408 angler trips this past week with over 400 boats each day on the weekend. For the season, 1,433 adult Chinook, 249 jacks, and 12 coho have been harvested.
The first in-season run update for the Hanford Reach was completed on September 15. An adult return estimate of 135,819 was expected to return in 2011. The current in-season return estimate is 58,478 adult Chinook, considerably lower than predicted.
FISHING — The Washington Fish and Wildlife Department has just announced it will open catch-and-keep steelheading earlier than scheduled on the Columbia River between the Highway 395 Bridge at Pasco and the wooden power line towers at the old Hanford townsite.
The season for hatchery-raised steelhead will open Friday (Sept. 16) and run through Oct. 31.
Read on for details.
FISHING — See what you missed: Here's the March steelhead fishing report for the Hanford Reach of the Columbia just released by Washington Fish and Wildlife Department fisheries biologist Paul Hoffarth.
FISHING — Here’s the February steelhead fishing recap for the Hanford Reach of the Columbia just filed by Paul Hoffarth, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife fisheries biologist in the Tri-Cities:
Lower Reach (Hwy 395 to old Hanford town site):
An estimated 174 steelhead were caught and 140 steelhead were harvested in February. Anglers are averaging 1 steelhead for each 12 hours of fishing. Boat anglers have faired better than the shore anglers at 9 hours per steelhead versus 32 hours per steelhead for bank anglers. A total of 1,374 steelhead have been caught this season and 1,011 hatchery steelhead have been harvested. WDFW staff sampled 15 percent of the estimated angler effort in this fishery in February and 25 percent for the season. Catch and harvest numbers are well below the 2008 and 2009 fisheries but similar to those of 2004-07.
Upper Reach (Vernita Bridge to Priest Rapids Dam):
On December 8, WDFW opened the Columbia River from the Hwy 24 bridge (Vernita Bridge) to Priest Rapids Dam for the retention of hatchery steelhead. This is the first time this area has been open in the winter for steelhead in many years. Angler effort has been relatively light. We are currently averaging 1 boat trip per day. Very few anglers are fishing from shore for steelhead. No steelhead were reported in February. Only 2 boats were interviewed. An estimated 225 steelhead have been caught in this fishery with 47 hatchery steelhead harvested.
FISHING — The forecast is bright for the “upriver bright” fall chinook salmon headed primarily to the Hanford Reach of the Columbia this summer and fall.
This year's run of fall chinook salmon to the Columbia River basin is expected to be the fifth largest since at least 1948, and nearly 200,000 fish higher than the recent 10-year average return, according to preseason forecasts released last week by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.
The forecast is beefed up by estimates for a large upriver bright component of 398,200 adult fish to the mouth of the Columbia River. That would be the second largest since record-keeping began in 1964. The largest return was 420,700 in 1987.
Savvy anglers know the largest share of upriver brights are destined for the Hanford Reach section of the Columbia River, Priest Rapids Hatchery, and the Snake River with smaller portions headed for the Deschutes and Yakima rivers.
See a detailed story in the Columbia Basin Bulletin.