Hanford Reach Fishing Report (9-8-20)
THE FOLLOWING FISHING REPORT WAS FORWARDED BY PAUL HOFFARTH, WDFW
Fishing remained slow for most anglers this past week but several nice fish were landed. Fish are being harvested throughout the Reach, Yakima River mouth upstream to Priest Rapids. Fishery greatly improves after mid-September in most years (see 2019 harvest information below). Boats averaged slightly less than a 1/2 salmon per boat, 31 hours per fish last week. From August 31 through September 6, WDFW staff interviewed anglers from 321 boats (767 anglers) with 113 adult chinook and 9 jacks. Based on the sampling, an estimated 349 adult chinook and 29 chinook jacks were harvested from 2,354 angler trips. For the season, there have been 4,472 angler trips harvesting 536 adult chinook and 77 chinook jacks. In addition, 184 sockeye and 31 wild steelhead were caught and released.
Fall chinook counts at Bonneville have leveled out and McNary numbers are rising. Numbers are running roughly double of the 2019 counts. From August 1 to September 6, 184,921 adult chinook have passed upstream of Bonneville Dam (2019: 92,741). Adult fall chinook through McNary are currently at 37,777 compared to 15,773 in 2019.
TAC met on August 31 to review run sizes and harvest. TAC updated the A-Index steelhead run size to 80,300 at Bonneville Dam compared to the pre-season forecast of 85,900. TAC updated the natural origin A-Index portion of this run to 30,900 compared to the pre-season forecast of 33,300. It is too early to update the B-Index portion of the run, but B-Index steelhead are tracking above expectations based on average run timing for this group.
Both bright stock and tule stock fall chinook are tracking ahead of expectations at Bonneville Dam although it is also too early to reliably update the upriver chinook run sizes yet. TAC reviews harvest estimates as they become available. TAC will continue to meet each Monday and will provide further updates as information becomes available.
This week’s Technical Advisory Committee updates for the Columbia River were not available today. The first in-season run update for Hanford Reach returns will be calculated on September 15.
Please see attached message. Researchers from UBC in the Pacific Salmon Ecology & Conservation Lab, led by Dr. Scott Hinch, are releasing Chinook and Coho salmon with acoustic telemetry tags to investigate the impact of catch-and-release fishing.
Anglers looking for more information on Columbia River fisheries management can visit:
Columbia River Compact Fact Sheets
Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission Fishery Announcements:
The Hanford Reach fall salmon fishery opened August 16 (Hwy 395 Bridge upstream to Priest Rapids Dam). Pre-season forecast for fall chinook to the Hanford Reach is 92,000 adults, 65,000 wild and 27,000 hatchery. Returns are expected to be very similar to last year. Daily limit is 6 salmon but anglers are limited to two adults. Anglers must stop fishing when the adult limit is retained.
Anglers can harvest fall chinook and coho, both hatchery and wild. Anglers can use barbed or barbless hooks when fishing or salmon in this area of the Columbia River. Anglers may fish with two poles for any species except sturgeon with two-pole endorsement. Party fishing is not allowed when fishing for salmon in this section of the Columbia River. The Columbia River upstream of the Highway 395 Bridge is closed to fishing for steelhead.