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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

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Hanford Reach chinook anglers turn out record effort last week

Adult fall chinook counts over McNary Dam posted on Sept. 14, 2015. (Fish Passage Center)
Adult fall chinook counts over McNary Dam posted on Sept. 14, 2015. (Fish Passage Center)

FISHING -- Last week I reported the fishing for fall chinook was picking up on the Hanford Reach of the Columbia River.

That was an understatement.

The number of anglers and the numbers of salmon harvested in the Hanford Reach sport fishery set records last week, according to Paul Hoffarth, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife fisheries biologist -- and the big run of fish heading upriver toward McNary Dam (last dam before the Reach) has yet to peak!

Says Hoffarth:

WDFW estimates 1,739 boats (4,154 anglers) fished the Hanford Reach with a harvest of 2,348 adult chinook and 104 jacks.  This was a new record for harvest for the second week in September and was more than double the previous record set last year.

Anglers averaged better than 1.5 fish per boat for the week with many areas reporting better than 2 adult chinook per boat by the latter half of the week.  Bank anglers at the Ringold Springs Access area harvested 28 adult chinook this week.  

Fish were harvested throughout the Hanford Reach with the best catch per effort at Vernita (2.0 fish/boat), followed closely by White Bluffs and Ringold.  Fish continue to pour through the dams with over 257,000 adult fall chinook counted at Bonneville this past week (~36,000 per day) and 81,000+ over McNary (~11,000 per day).

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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