Tri-Cities Sockeye Fishing Report (6-22-20)
THE FOLLOWING FISHING REPORT WAS FORWARDED BY PAUL HOFFARTH
The 2020 pre-season forecasts for adult salmon returns to the Columbia River is 38,300 summer chinook and 246,300 sockeye salmon. The Columbia River from the Megler/Astoria Bridge upstream to Hwy. 395 Bridge (Kennewick/Pasco) and from the I-182 Bridge (Richland/Pasco) upstream to Priest Rapids Dam opened to fishing for sockeye on June 16 by emergency regulation.
Daily limit is 2 adult sockeye (min size 12”). The fishery is closed for the retention of summer chinook. The fishery is expected to run through July 31. Due to the low expected return of summer chinook to the Yakima River this year the Columbia River from Hwy 395 to I-182 in the Tri-cities will not open for sockeye or summer chinook. The Columbia River upstream of Priest Rapids Dam will open for sockeye in July (July 1 in many areas).
The fishery kicked off with a great opening week. Between June 16 and June 23, WDFW staff interviewed 317 anglers from 146 boats [from I-182 to Priest Rapids Dam] with 130 sockeye harvested. Based on the data collected there were 1,036 angler trips for sockeye with 425 fish harvested for the week. Boats averaged 1 salmon per boat, ~10.5 hours per fish. 36 adult summer chinook and 7 chinook jacks were caught and released.
The sockeye migration is on the rise, with 11,106 sockeye over Bonneville on June 21 and 61,500 sockeye to date. McNary passage hit 4,736 on June 21 so fishing should continue to improve. Over 4 million shad have passed Bonneville Dam! The Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) did not update the return estimate this week.