Sockeye counts at Bonneville continue to climb and exceeded 10,000 on June 20. Sockeye count at McNary was 2,855 for June 20. Too early to determine how strong this years’ return will be. The preseason forecast was 234,500 sockeye and 84,800 summer chinook. River flows in the Columbia are relatively low for this time of year. Columbia River at Priest Rapids is averaging ~100,000cfs and water temperature is approaching 60F (at the dam).
The Hanford Reach salmon fishery got off to a predictably slow start given the numbers of fish present. On the opening weekend, WDFW staff interviewed 218 anglers from 70 boats and 125 bank anglers with 25 sockeye, 5 adult hatchery summer chinook, 1 hatchery summer chinook jack, and 1 wild chinook jack harvested. Three adult wild chinook were caught and released. Anglers averaged slightly under 1/2 a salmon per boat (0.41), 22 angler hours per fish. Four sockeye were landed at the Columbia Point bank fishery.
Based on the data collected there were 1,089 angler trips for salmon the first three days of the fishery with 61 sockeye, 12 adult hatchery chinook, 2 hatchery chinook jacks, and 2 wild jack chinook harvested with 6 wild adult summer chinook caught and released. Fishing should improve quickly this upcoming week as the numbers of sockeye and summer chinook migrating through the Hanford Reach and into the Upper Columbia increase.