These are preliminary numbers for the 2019 Columbia River Spring Chinook forecast, plus numbers for Summer Chinook and Sockeye. It looks like what most expected as we get through the years our smolt endured the blob out in the pacific. Look for one more year like this and then we should see an uptick. In my November post on fall Salmon closers, I mentioned “Son of Blob” which is a new warm water mass that has organized off our coast. It doesn’t look as severe as the original blob, but not ideal at any rate.
Sockeye returns look on par with last years forecast, but actuals for last year more than doubled initial forecasts. It’s certainly difficult to understand why we experienced such an anomaly last year except to think that the effects of the blob were shorter lived than most thought. If this is the case we should see projected Chinook returns come in over estimates this year. It certainly remains to be seen.
Of course this will all be blamed on ocean conditions, but reality is starting to set in for today’s fisheries management strategies.