UPDATED 2:20 P.M. SEPT. 23, 2014 While the fall Chinook run won’t make preseason forecast, the Columbia’s coho run at Bonneville has topped where managers thought it would be by the end of the month — and it’s already the third largest on record back through 1938.
Through yesterday, 152,189 adult silvers have been counted at the dam, about 50,000 more than were expected to show by Sept. 30, according to a fact sheet from Washington and Oregon salmon overlords last week.
That figure — which is being padded by anywhere from 3,400 to 10,000 coho over the past week — is third only to 2001’s 259,000 and 2009’s 225,000.
Best day so far is 13,718, on Sept. 12, and with significant numbers of coho — say, up to 1,000 a day — possible as late as the end of October, this year’s return could make a run at second place.
The return has also produced the best coho catch in the Columbia since Carter wore that cardigan.
In records that go back to 1980, the 4,919 that have been kept between Aug. 1 and Sept. 21 topped the previous high mark of 4,027 set in 1986.
How do ya’ catch em’? May we introduce you to the October issue of Northwest Sportsman, headed to subscribers and newsstands now!
As for the Columbia’s fall Chinook run, it was downgraded to 83 percent of the preseason prediction, or 1,258,000 brights and tules vs. 1,510,600.
Still, it’s produced solid catches — 22,483 for 119,885 angler trips on the river between Tongue Point and Bonneville,
“The angler trips and Chinook kept are the fourth highest on record. Last year was the record for both (141,481 angler trips and 31,879 Chinook kept). With over a month to go, will we set a new record?” wonders factmongers in Portcouvervanlandia.
Meanwhile, the steelhead catch ain’t too shabby either — 6,842 and third largest, but nowhere close to 2011’s record of 12,053.