The Columbia sockeye run shifted into high gear over the weekend, easily topping the preseason forecast with a 22,000-fish day at Bonneville that brought the count to 112,554 through Sunday.
Salmon managers had predicted a total run of 101,600 of the red salmon bound for BC, Lake Wenatchee and the Snake and Yakima systems.
How high this year’s count will go is now anybody’s guess.
Managers say it’s harder to forsooth just how many will hit the big river because the bulk of the return is from new stocks in the Okanagan River and there’s not a lot of data to go on.
The sockeye count typically peaks in late June. So far, the daily tallies have been running five or so days ahead of the 10-year average. If the runs early, it might be peaking now. Let’s hope not, as the more fish, the better the odds of opening the Columbia above Pasco this summer for the salmon. The Brewster Pool is one of the best fisheries for sockeye.