Upriver Springer Catch Improves

The Bonneville Dam count is still just roughly one-tenth of the 10-year average, but the percentage of upriver-bound spring Chinook in the Columbia improved markedly during test-netting yesterday.

Of 58 captured, 25 were headed for tribs above Bonneville while 22 were returning to lower Columbia rivers such as the Willamette, Cowlitz and Lewis, according to a fact sheet issued by the Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife this afternoon.

The origin of the remaining 11 couldn’t be determined through visual stock identification techniques.

Tests the previous two Sundays had only captured one upriver Chinook, and only eight Chinook overall.

The fact sheet also says:

Mainstem sport catch through March 14 includes 700 hatchery Chinook (100 released) from 21,500 angler trips.  Stock composition (based on VSI) is 32% upper river stock.  Winter steelhead handle includes 150 fish kept and 40 released.  Chinook catch and effort is generally in line with pre season modeling.

In the sport catch, stock composition overall is slightly different from preseason expectations with the lower river component comprising a greater proportion of the catch than expected.  Stock composition has gradually been increasing towards upriver as the season progresses.

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