THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION WAS FORWARDED BY PAUL HOFFARTH, WDFW
Hanford Reach Fall Chinook Fishery Update (Oct 7-13)
The Hanford Reach from the old Hanford townsite power line crossing upstream to Priest Rapids Dam will close after today, October 15. The area from the Highway 395 bridge at Pasco/Kennewick upstream to the old Hanford townsite will remain open. This area is expected to remain open through the scheduled closure on October 31 with a one adult daily limit.
Angler effort dropped off a bit this past week with the opening of deer season. There were still just shy of 5,000 anglers fishing for fall chinook in the Hanford Reach this past week. Fishing was excellent with boats averaging 1.6 fish per boat, 8 hours per fish. From October 7 through October 13, WDFW staff interviewed anglers from 672 boats (1,806 anglers) and 67 bank anglers with 962 adult chinook, 92 jacks and 9 coho. An estimated 2,512 adult chinook, 243 chinook jacks and 23 coho were harvested for the week (expanded). For the season there have been 27,043 angler trips with 10,181 adult chinook, 1,122 chinook jacks, and 53 coho harvested. Harvest is now tracking well above last year at this time. (2018 =8,672 adult chinook).
In addition to the US v Oregon Agreement, the Hanford Reach URB population is managed under the Hanford Reach Fall Chinook Fishery Management Plan. The population is managed to meet the Hanford Reach URB escapement goal of 31,100 – 42,000 adults (naturally spawning population). Harvest allocated to the fishery is based on in-season return estimates. An in-season estimate is generated weekly from September 15 through October 15 for the Hanford Reach wild component of the return. The estimate is generated based on current passage through the fish ladders at McNary, Ice Harbor, and Priest Rapids Dams and incorporates average migration timing for this population. Based on fish counts through October 15, an estimated 55,957 adult, wild (natural origin) fall chinook are expected to return to the Hanford Reach. At returns in excess of 52,000 adults, an increased proportion of the return is dedicated to the terminal fishery. With an expected natural origin fall chinook return at ~56,000, 18,000+ adult chinook are allocated to the Hanford Reach sport fishery. This allocation plus the current one adult daily limit should be sufficient to continue the fishery through the end of the scheduled season (see WA Sport Fishing Rules & Emergency Regulations).