THE FOLLOWING MATERIAL ORIGINATED WITH BRYANT SPELLMAN AND RYAN LOTHROP, WDFW; JIMMY WATTS, ODFW; AND PAUL HOFFARTH, WDFW; AND WAS TRANSMITTED BY JOE HYMER, PSMFC
Preliminary Washington Lower Columbia River mainstem and tributary creel sampling summaries July 2-8 ,2018
Elochoman River – 8 bank anglers had no catch.
Cowlitz River – I-5 Br downstream: 2 bank rods had no catch. Above the I-5 Br: 10 bank rods kept 2 steelhead. 19 boat rods kept 4 steelhead.
Here are a few highlights to today’s TAC call.
There were no changes to the mouth run sizes for sockeye (209k) or summer Chinook (44k) to last week’s updates. Run timing appears to be 1-2 days early, with sockeye numbers potentially trending down slight, and summer Chinook ever so slightly trending up. Allocations/catch sharing do not change from last week that led to fishery changes. With a run size below 50k for summer Chinook, Treaty impacts are 10,627 and NT sharing of impacts in-river are:
Above PRD (90%): 3,859 (Colville (70%): 2,701; Sport: 958; Wanapum: 200)
Below PRD (10%): 429.
FYI, if you are looking at the Bonneville count numbers, you will notice summer Chinook numbers are above TAC’s updated run size. That difference is because the Corp starts summer counts June 1, instead of June 16 that USvOR recognizes.
Lower Columbia mainstem sport update
During July 1-8, steelhead anglers on the lower Columbia made 3,950 trips and caught 668 summer steelhead (444 kept and 224 released), 24 sockeye (21 kept and three released) and 86 adult Chinook (released).
Tri-cities Area Summer Chinook Fishery (Hwy 395 to Priest Rapids Dam)
The Columbia River from Highway 395 (Pasco/Kennewick) upstream to Priest Rapids Dam opened to fishing for summer chinook on June 16. On July 1 the fishery was expanded to include the harvest of sockeye (wild & hatchery). On July 6 the fishery was closed to retention of all adult chinook upstream to Priest Rapids Dam. All sockeye greater than 12 inches in length are categorized as adults.
Between July 2 and July 8 WDFW staff interviewed 144 anglers from 71 boats with 6 adult hatchery chinook, 2 chinook jack, 74 sockeye, and 1 hatchery steelhead harvested (This area is closed to harvest of steelhead. This was an illegal take). Based on the data collected there were 569 angler trips for salmon last week with a harvest of 48 adult hatchery chinook, 16 jack hatchery chinook, 593 sockeye, and 6 hatchery steelhead. Anglers averaged 1.2 salmon per boat, 8.9 hours per fish.
There have been 1,781 angler trips for summer chinook and sockeye since the opener on June 16 with a harvest of 108 adult hatchery chinook, 20 jack hatchery chinook, and 790 sockeye. An additional 26 adult wild chinook, 117 sockeye, and 4 hatchery steelhead have been caught and released.
Sockeye numbers are declining and river temperatures are warming which will likely signal a decline the fishery this week but the fishery is likely to still be fair/good for the upcoming week.