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Wind, Drano Springer Forecasts Out

Hot off the presses, the 2010 spring Chinook forecasts for Wind River, Drano Lake and other Bonneville Pool tributaries are out this morning.

In a nutshell, the predictions call for the largest run in 40 years back to Drano, biggest run in seven years back to the Wind and second largest in 33 years to the Klickitat, glorious news for plug-pulling, prawn-dragging Southwest Washington springer fiends.

Here’s the news, as forwarded by Joe Hymer of the Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission:

Washington Bonneville Pool Tributaries

Adult Spring Chinook

2009 Returns and 2010 Forecasts

Overall

  • The 2009 total return of adult spring Chinook to the Washington Bonneville Pool tributaries was slightly less than the pre-season forecasts.
  • A total of 18,500 adult spring Chinook were predicted to return to the Wind and Klickitat rivers plus Drano Lake in 2009; the actual return was 16,900.
  • The three year-old jack returns to all three tributaries were the highest or second highest since at least the 1970s.
  • There have been challenges in recent years forecasting returns to these areas and several new models were explored to predict Wind River and Drano Lake returns for 2010.
  • Unlike most upriver spring Chinook returns, the Klickitat River has more of a proven track record and the Yakama Nation used standard regression models for the 2010 forecast.
  • The 2010 pre-season forecast for all three areas is 47,400 adults.
  • The majority of the adults returning in 2010 are expected to be four year-olds.

Wind River

  • 2009 actual adult return was 4,650; pre-season forecast 6,900.
  • The 1,200 three year-old jacks that returned in 2009 were the second highest since at least 1970 (highest was 1,500 fish in 1971).
  • The 2010 pre-season forecast is 14,000 adults.
  • The 2010 return would be the largest since 2003 and over 300% greater than the recent five year average.

Drano Lake

  • 2009 actual adult return was 10,700; pre-season forecast 9,600.
  • The 2009 return was slightly greater than the recent ten year average.
  • The 3,150 three year-old jacks that returned in 2009 were the highest since at least 1970 and 470% greater than the previous high of 664 fish in 1976.
  • The 2010 pre-season forecast of 28,900 adults would be the largest since at least 1970 (largest to date is 17,600 adults in 2002).

Klickitat River (forecast provided by the Yakama Nation)

  • 2009 actual adult return was 1,500; pre-season forecast 2,000.
  • The 2009 return was slightly less than the recent five year average.
  • The 1,250 three year-old jacks that returned in 2009 were the second highest since at least 1977 (highest was 2,900 fish in 1979).
  • The 2010 pre-season forecast is 4,500 adults.
  • The 2010 return would be the second largest since at least 1977 (largest is 5,250 fish in 1989; however, that return included 4,100 four year-old Carson stock adults.  The 2010 return would be the largest return of Klickitat only fish).

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