The fall chinook counts are on a record setting pace in the Columbia River.
According to Joe Hymer, a state Fish and Wildlife biologist, the single-day count of 63,870 adult fall chinook at Bonneville Dam on Monday smashed the previous record set just last Saturday of 48,710.
The record before that was 45,884 fish set on Sept. 11, 2003.
“As far as I can tell going back through the annual counts since 1938, the 63,870 adult chinook counted at Bonneville may be a record daily count for all salmon, not just fall chinook,” Hymer said.
Other large single-day counts this season are: 42,445 on Sunday (Sept. 6); 48,710 on Saturday (Sept. 7); 25,956 on Friday (Sept. 6); 20,216 on Thursday (Sept. 5).
The 475,000 adult fall chinook counted at Bonneville Dam to date is the third highest on record for the entire run (from August through December).
Only 610,000 in 2003 and 584,000 in 2004 are larger.
Best salmon fishing on Columbia River since 1988!
Passage of Fall Chinook at Bonneville Dam through September 4 totals 273,820 adults. Chinook passage for both bright and tule stocks have exceeded preseason passage expectations to date. Based on the 10-year average, passage is 50% complete by September 9.
Passage of upriver summer steelhead since July 1 totals 182,898 fish. Counts have been less than expected. On August 26, the U.S. v. Oregon Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) downgraded the Group A run size to 199,000 fish (68% of preseason). It is too early to update the Group B preseason forecast of 31,600 fish, but TAC noted counts of Group B fish are also tracking less than expected.
Catch estimates for the Buoy 10 recreational fishery include 15,500 Chinook kept (4,100 released) from 37,200 angler trips during Aug 1-22.
Estimated catch during the August 23-September 1 mark-selective fishery, is 6,800 Chinook kept (8,600 released) from 20,900 angler trips.
Total effort and catch thru Sept. 1 was 22,300 Chinook kept (12,700 released) from 58,100 angler trips.
Chinook catch was the highest on record since 1988 (30,700 fish).
Estimated coho harvest through September 1 totals 6,800 fish (including release mortalities) compared to the 13,100 fish available.
Lower Columbia mainstem below Bonneville Dam:
Catch estimates for the lower Columbia River (LCR) recreational fishery include 12,600 Chinook kept (1,100 released) from 69,000 angler trips during Aug 1-31.
The fishery experienced record high catch in August (previous record 6,800 last year).