The numbers are unofficial, they’re preliminary, they have yet to be agreed to by the comanagers, but, ummm, summer 2011 is looking kinda pinkish in Pugetropolis.
State sources tell us that somewhere around 5.7 million of the odd-year salmon are forecast back to rivers from the Canadian border down to the City of Destiny.
That’s about a half-million above the 2009 prediction, though well below what actually came back, a record return of 9.8 mil.
The previous high mark was 1963’s 7.4 million.
It was followed up in 1965 by a run of, err, just over 1 million.
“The gangbuster return of ’09 does not mean a gangbuster return in 2011,” cautions Val Tribble, WDFW’s humpy bio (and apparently, the agency’s designated crazed-hopes batter-awayer).
Again, these are early numbers that may change after consultations with tribal biologists, they may be different when WDFW does the official unveiling early next month, but the Green is expected to lead all comers this summer with 2 million, followed closely by the Snohomish and Stilly where 1.9 million are forecast, then the Puyallup with 900,000, the Skagit with 800,000 and the Nooksack with, ahem, pick it up a bit, will ya’, 68,000.
However, if you’re a Bellingham humpy assassin, do not despair. A report out of Victoria indicates that the Fraser’s pink run is expected to exceed the average escapement of 12.3 million.
Official advice from the yee olde Times-Colonist:
Take your kids and neighbours who seldom fish out into Juan de Fuca on those rising-tide afternoons in August. Last summer triple the number of fry, an astonishing 1.06 billion, went to sea so the Strait should be stuffed this year.
Official advice from yee crazee Northwest Sportsman: Stock up on the Dick Nites, pink Buzz Bombs, pink hoochies, small pink jigs, pink spoons, pink spinners — heck, anything pink and hooked — now.