THE FOLLOWING FISHING REPORT WAS FORWARDED BY PAUL HOFFARTH, WDFW
The upcoming week is the final week to fish for salmon in the Hanford Reach area of the Columbia River (lower section only). 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 for salmon. 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 salmon per boat, 13 angler-hours per fish. Bank anglers at Ringold averaged a salmon for every 15 hours fished.
WDFW staff interviewed anglers from 133 boats (290 anglers) and 142 bank anglers (Ringold Springs access) with a combined harvest of 128 adult chinook and 12 jacks. For the season, there have been 37,888 angler trips harvesting 14,242 adult chinook, 1,361 chinook jacks, and 104 coho. In addition, 188 sockeye, 86 wild steelhead, and 21 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.
Hanford Reach Steelhead Fishery
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.