I have to admit right now, I didn’t miss the lack of Coho Salmon last year. I say this with full understanding that had the Chinook not shown up in the salt and river the way they did, it would have been curtains for sure. But fortunately for sports and charter boats alike, the Ocean Chinook Salmon fishing was as good as it gets and although we look to have another strong run of Kings, I think I’ll rest a little easier tonight knowing that there are a lot more Coho destined for the Columbia River this fall.
Fisheries managers today released their latest spreadsheet of predictions for Coho returns to the Columbia River and I had to look twice to make sure my eyes weren’t playing tricks on me. After a dismal 2012 run, the 2013 run looks to nearly triple last years returns. 114,000 returned as part of the A run to the Columbia last year, which is hardly a run by Columbia River standards. This years anticipated run of 331,000 fish, however, seems a lot more acceptable and will provide us with some pretty decent opportunities first in the ocean and then finally in the river once the Coho turn the corner for home in late August and September.
Because of last years dismal Coho returns many of my clients that have been booking the last couple weeks for August’s Buoy 10 fishery, haven’t even considered the Coho returns. In fact, I’m not sure anyone has inquired a thing about the latest second rate species. It’s a bit odd given the popularity of the good eating and eager biting Coho, but fishermen in these parts have learned to move on and with good King returns last year, it was easy to do so.
This year’s simultaneous showing of Kings and Coho should give fishermen everywhere much to be excited about. Yes, we’re still in the first week of February, but it’s never too early to talk about Columbia River Ocean and Buoy 10 Salmon Fishing.