THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION WAS FORWARDED BY PAUL HOFFARTH, WDFW
Hanford Reach Fall Chinook Fishery Update (Sept 30 – Oct 6)
Over 6,200 anglers fished for fall chinook in the Hanford Reach this past week. Fishing was excellent with boats averaging 1.5 fish per boat, 10 hours per fish.
From September 30 through October 6, WDFW staff interviewed anglers from 931 boats (2,467 anglers) and 83 bank anglers with 1,213 adult chinook, 146 jacks and 4 coho. An estimated 2,963 adult chinook, 376 chinook jacks and 10 coho were harvested for the week (expanded).
For the season there have been 21,878 angler trips with 7,533 adult chinook, 871 chinook jacks, and 29 coho harvested. Harvest is tracking ~9% higher than last year at this time. (2018 =6,901 adult chinook).
Adult counts of fall chinook over Bonneville are running 45% above last year’s numbers and McNary counts are running 24% above last year at this time.
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 7, an estimated 53,497 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 53,497, 15,329 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. The next in-season update will be posted October 14.