THE FOLLOWING FISHING REPORT WAS FORWARDED BY PAUL HOFFARTH, WDFW
Effort continued to decline this past week but harvest increased compared to the week prior. Very unusual for this fishery that is normally peaking at this time. Boats averaged 1.5 salmon per boat, 11 angler-hours per fish. Bank anglers at Ringold averaged 24 hours per salmon. The upstream section of the Hanford Reach, from the old Hanford townsite powerline crossing upstream to Priest Rapids Dam will close after October 15. The lower section will remain open through October 31.
WDFW staff interviewed anglers from 664 boats (1,787 anglers) and 112 bank anglers (Ringold Springs access) with a combined harvest of 964 adult chinook, 42 jacks, and 2 coho. Based on the sampling information, an estimated 2,617 adult chinook, 114 chinook jacks, and 5 coho were harvested from 5,085 angler trips. For the season, there have been 34,738 angler trips harvesting 12,879 adult chinook, 1,278 chinook jacks, and 99 coho. In addition, 188 sockeye, 76 wild steelhead, and 9 hatchery steelhead have been caught and released during the fishery.
An In-season return estimate was completed on October 7 for the Hanford Reach wild (natural origin) fall chinook population. Current prediction is 76,641 adults, well above the minimum escapement goal of 31,100. The return is up 17% from the pre-season forecast of 65,359 adults. The lower section of the Hanford Reach salmon fishery is expected to remain open with a 2 adult limit through the scheduled closure on October 31.
The lower Hanford Reach, Interstate 182 at Richland upstream to the old Hanford townsite powerline crossing, is open for Ringold Springs Hatchery (RSH) steelhead. Anglers are limited to one RSH steelhead daily. Ringold Springs steelhead are adipose clipped and right ventral fin clipped. All other hatchery and wild steelhead must be immediately released. The fishery is off to a very slow start but should improve once the salmon fishery wraps up at the end of October. Two steelhead were harvested from the Ringold Springs access bank fishery this past week.