Columbia Springer Update (4-1-11)

No foolin, AW’s late, late, late on the Lower Columbia spring Chinook update front, but after a day off, here’s what I gather this morning:

According to biologist Joe Hymer in Vancouver, through Thursday, March 31, we sport anglers have:

kept an estimated 3,770 adult springers and released 1,092

killed about 40% of the 7,750 upriver-bound-springer catch guideline

Despite frets, the commercial fleet’s four-hour Tuesday night fishery sucked — well, at least for them. Salmon managers modeled a catch of 2,700, with a range from 2,400 to 3,000, but basically 150 boats only managed to catch half that, 1,263 kings, according to Hymer.

That’s even fewer fish per comm boat than Wednesday morning’s initial estimates.

As it stands, sport fishing on the mainstem Columbia below Bonneville Dam ends after April 4.

That’s the same day that managers will hold a hearing to figure out if another commercial fishery is possible next Wednesday. They’ll be doing test netting over this weekend.

Then, April 6, there will be a joint state hearing on the sport fishery and whether there’s any fish left in the guideline for any possible extensions.

Earlier this week a senior Washington manager says that the catch is tracking close to expectations, “so any additional fishing time in April will probably be fairly limited.”

And, what the heck, why not a Bonneville Dam count update?

156.

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