Salmon managers in the Columbia River Basin say only about half the number of spring chinook originally predicted will return past Bonneville Dam on the Columbia River this year.
Managers say about 120,000 to 150,000 spring chinook will return rather than the 300,000 originally expected.
Curiously, a record number of jacks already has come into the Columbia with a month of returns remaining. An abundance of jacks historically has indicated big runs of adults the next year. However, that forecasting tool has not been accurate in recent years, said Joe Hymer, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife salmon specialist.
“We’re reviewing the forecasting model,” he said.
The Idaho Fish and Game Commission met Thursday and reduced bag limits on adult salmon in seasons that have already started to accommodate the downsized returns.
Washington announced early closures on the Snake near Little Goose Dam and at Ringold on the Columbia.
Larry Barrett, IFG biologist in Lewiston, said the Snake, Salmon and Clearwater still should provide good fishing for about 50,000 springers expected to enter Idaho.
Staff and wire reports
Fly shop owner drowns in ’Root
The owner of a fly fishing shop in Hamilton died May 6 in a Bitterroot River rafting accident.
Richard Galli, 72, drowned after the raft he and two other men were in hit a brush pile in the river, causing the raft to overturn, according to the Ravalli County Sheriff’s Office. The other two men were able to swim to safety.
Galli owned the Montana Flyfishing Center and made R. Galli custom fly-fishing rods.
Rexburg sets cyclists free
The eastern Idaho city of Rexburg recently updated its 108-year-old bicycle laws.
An old law banned bicycles from plank sidewalks, and set a bicycle speed limit of 5 mph on Main Street and 12 mph elsewhere.
The old law also allowed violators to work off a $25 fine by laboring on village streets for $2 a day.
The new ordinance is designed to help bicyclists and motorists share the road safely.
Senate approves parks gun bill
The U.S. Senate voted 67-29 Tuesday to relax a Reagan-era requirement that firearms be unloaded and stored when transported into national parks.
As the bill moved to the House, the vote underscored divisions among Democrats over the politically charged issue of regulating firearms.
The bill would allow firearms owners visiting parks to abide by the law of the state in which their guns are licensed.
National parks advocacy groups say the law would increase risk for protected wildlife and cause more confusion, especially at Yellowstone, which is bordered by three states.