Columbia Springer Run Upgraded

Columbia salmon managers have upgraded the spring Chinook run to 210,000 and will discuss a recreational reopener on the lower river this Friday afternoon.

That after earlier this week sticking with their preseason estimate of 198,400 fish back to the mouth of the mighty river.

THERE'S A RAINBOW ON THE HORIZON -- IS THERE A TROVE OF MORE DAYS ON THE COLUMBIA FOR SPORTS UNDER IT? (WRIGHT & McGILL/EAGLE CLAW PHOTO CONTEST)

Since getting off to a late and sluggish start, the salmon have been pouring over Bonneville Dam the past two weeks, fueling good fishing at Wind River and Drano Lake.

In fact, the count for the month of May through the 10th is the highest of any May in the 2000s. According to stats pulled from the Columbia DART site, this month has seen 90,842 of the 125,600 to go over the dam so far this season.

That’s 23,000 more than the next closest May 1-10s this decade (2010 and 2002).

With the upgraded run size there is also slightly more room in the nontribal allocation for above-Bonneville-bound springers.

“Based on the U.S. v Oregon agreement, non-Indian fisheries are limited to a total of 19,110 upriver spring Chinook (kept plus release mortalities) and an ESA impact rate of 1.9%. About half of the non-Indian allocation remains available at this time,” reads a fact sheet sent out this afternoon.

Oregon and Washington managers are recommending a commercial fishery later this week.

In an email sent out minute ago, Liz Hamilton of the Northwest Sportfishing Industry Association in Portland says that recreational advisors are meeting with fishery managers this afternoon to discuss options.

“There are close to 6,000 (kept + released mortalities of upriver spring Chinook, which does not count Willamette fish caught in the Columbia) left at the 210,000 run size,” she writes.

She hopes to get the river reopened before snowmelt hits, and says the scuttle is that at this point it wouldn’t happen until next week at earliest.

But we’ll see what the managers decide.

Meanwhile, fishing continues on the Snake River. Angler Jeff Holmes of Kennewick has been hitting it and counted 140 boats yesterday below Ice Harbor Dam, many of which were anchored up in hoglines.

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