A little bird showed up and happened to whisper some pre-season forecasts for some of our upcoming Columbia River fishing Seasons.
In 2017, Columbia River Spring Chinook continue a decline with 160,400 upriver bound fish projected to arrive at the mouth near Astoria. I wasn’t able to find the fact sheet that gave final results for the 2016 run, but pre-season forecasts had 188,000 destined to arrive at the mouth.
Sockeye returns are coming in at 199,000. Remember, last year only 100,000 Sockeye were suppose to return and over 400k came back. Food for thought when it comes to actually betting on any of this.
Summer Chinook returns continue to track with the down turn with only 63,100 fish returning. Except for incidental success when targeting summer steelhead, Summer Chinook have almost turned into a “who cares” with dismal mid 30’s mark rate.
I’m not as solid on Willamette River numbers at this point, but run size is pointing towards 45-55,000. Last year, our beloved rocket scientists came in with a forecast of 60k and we saw what happened after that. Here’s a news flash for anyone at the department reading this. Your models for the Willamette stink. You almost need to scrap any data prior to Columbia River spill taking place. I know it was something that we were all excited about at the time, but in my opinion, the spill program on the Columbia River is killing the Willamette River.
All in all, we’re going to be fishing, but we’re going to need favorable conditions to provide us with any “good” fishing.
I’ll update this as I’m able to get additional information.