THE FOLLOWING FISHING REPORT WAS FORWARDED BY PAUL HOFFARTH, WDFW
The upstream section of the Hanford Reach, from the old Hanford townsite powerline crossing upstream to Priest Rapids Dam closed to fishing for salmon on October 16. The lower section will remain open through October 31. From the old Hanford townsite powerline crossing upstream to Vernita Bridge is closed to all fishing through January 31. This area is managed as a waterfowl refuge during this period.
This past week boats averaged 1.3 salmon per boat, 12 angler-hours per fish. Bank anglers at Ringold averaged 23 hours per salmon.
WDFW staff interviewed anglers from 334 boats (855 anglers) and 125 bank anglers (Ringold Springs access) with a combined harvest of 419 adult chinook, 24 jacks, and 2 coho. Based on the sampling information, an estimated 1,085 adult chinook, 60 chinook jacks, and 5 coho were harvested from 2,256 angler trips.
For the season, there have been 36,994 angler trips harvesting 13,964 adult chinook, 1,338 chinook jacks, and 104 coho. In addition, 188 sockeye, 86 wild steelhead, and 12 hatchery steelhead have been caught and released during the fishery.
The final in-season return estimate was completed on October 15 for the Hanford Reach wild (natural origin) fall chinook population. Current prediction is 76,858 adults, well above the minimum escapement goal of 31,100. The return is up 18% 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.