Oregon and Washington salmon managers are putting out even more forecasts today.
Earlier they announced that 2014’s Columbia fall bright run could be similar to this year’s gargantuan return of around 1 million.
Now, they’re saying that the sockeye run up the big river could be pretty nice as well. They’re predicting almost twice as many –345,900 — as were forecast for and came in this year.
That’s good news after this year’s tighter fisheries on the Upper Columbia.
They’re also predicting 58,700 Willamette springers and 7,800 Cowlitz springers.
That’s on top of the 227,000 upper Columbia and Snake-bound Chinook which, if it comes in, would be the fifth largest return of springers to the mouth of the Columbia since 1979.
The Willy’s Chinook run would be 11,000 fish more than actually came back this year.
Managers have yet to break out the Wind, Drano, and other components of the above-Bonneville springer forecast.
While things look good above the dam, the Lewis and Kalama spring Chinook stocks continue to be low — 1,100 and 500 are predicted back to each — and that may lead to continued fishery restrictions.
Still to come on the forecast front are Columbia summer steelhead, and fall Chinook and coho figures, which should be out in mid-February, as well as Puget Sound and coastal Washington predictions in early March.
Managers are laying out the forecasts as part of the annual season-setting process. While the Willamette prediction is strong enough for the usual days and limits, recreational parameters on the Columbia will now be worked on at a number of meetings over the coming month and a half.