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Sockeye, chinook runs looking huge on eve of salmon opener

Dave Grove of Captain Dave's Fishing Guide Service fillets a limit of sockeye for a customer after fishing below Wanapum Dam on the July 1 opening of the upper Columbia salmon fishing season. (Rich Landers)
Dave Grove of Captain Dave's Fishing Guide Service fillets a limit of sockeye for a customer after fishing below Wanapum Dam on the July 1 opening of the upper Columbia salmon fishing season. (Rich Landers)

FISHING -- The salmon are charging upstream in near-record numbers for the Wednesday, July 1, season openers on the upper Columbia River.  

Here's the latest update on the chinook and sockeye runs from Joe Hymer, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife salmon specialist:

SUMMER CHINOOK

  • Adult summer Chinook passage at Bonneville Dam during June 16-29 totals 53,197 fish.
  • It’s the 2nd largest total to-date (record is 70,920 adults in 1957).
  • Passage is typically 50% complete by June 29.
  • The preseason forecast was for a Columbia River return of 73,000 adults.
  • The Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) began weekly stock status reviews for the summer season on Monday June 29. TAC upgraded the summer Chinook forecast return to 85,000  adults.
  • If the upgraded TAC forecast is correct, this year’s summer Chinook return would be the second largest on record since at least 1980 (record is 89,500 adults in 2002). 

SOCKEYE

  • Sockeye passage at Bonneville Dam through June 29 totals 339,816 fish.
  • It’s also the 2nd largest total count to-date (record is 364,849 fish in 2012).
  • Passage is typically 50% complete by June 25.
  • The preseason forecast was for a Columbia River return of 394,000 adults.
  • The Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) began weekly stock status reviews for the summer season on Monday June 29. TAC upgraded the sockeye return to 450,000 adults.
  • If the upgraded TAC forecast is correct, it would be the 3rd largest return to the mouth of the Columbia since at least 1938 (record was set just last year with 645,140 fish).

BONUS FACTOID

Water temperatures at Bonneville Dam

  • Water temperature at Bonneville Dam was nearly 71 degrees yesterday.
  • It’s the hottest temperature to-date since at least 1950.
  • The recent 10-year average on June 28  is 63 degrees.  


Rich Landers
Rich Landers joined The Spokesman-Review in 1977. He is the Outdoors editor for the Sports Department writing and photographing stories about hiking, hunting, fishing, boating, conservation, nature and wildlife and related topics.

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