Hanford Reach, Yakima River Salmon Update

(PAUL HOFFARTH, WDFW, VIA JOE HYMER, PSFMC)

Another good week in the Hanford Reach for fall chinook.  Staff sampled 430 boats (1,061 anglers) with 330 chinook. Effort (number of boats) is 25% higher this year compared to last year.  Adult chinook catch is also roughly 20% above last year at this time. The number of jacks in the harvest is down from last year as are the counts of jacks over Bonneville (less than 1/2 of the 2009 jack count to date).  For the fishery this season an estimated 3,075 adult chinook, 404 jack chinook, and 4 coho have been harvested.

Based on passage through Sept 23, I estimate a total return to the Reach of 75,675. This is an expansion based on the 12 year average. Using the most recent two years this estimate drops to 56,506.  Decent return with either estimate. Both return estimates were similar to the Sept 15 estimates. I will update this estimate every 7 days.

The Hanford Reach is open to the retention of steelhead upstream to Priest Rapids Dam this fall (through Oct 22).  An estimated 526 steelhead have been caught through September 26 and 237 of these have been harvested. Fishing for steelhead throughout the Hanford Reach was slow last week for both bank and boat anglers.

Fall chinook harvest in the Yakima River picked up slightly this past week. Effort and catch has been relatively slow to date but both should begin to increase this week.  WDFW staff interviewed 65 anglers with 7 adult chinook and 1 jack this past week.

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