Here we go, fellow anglers.

Washington and Oregon fishery managers have approved sportfishing seasons for spring chinook salmon on the Columbia River, with an estimated 248,500 spring chinook salmon to return to the Columbia River this year.

That's a bold prediction with an an increase of 20 percent from 2017. That number includes 166,700 upriver fish bound for waters above Bonneville Dam and 81,820 fish expected to return to rivers below the dam, according to the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Bill Tweit, a special assistant for WDFW Columbia River fisheries, noted that the upriver forecast is up 44 percent from last year, but still 10 percent below the 10-year average.

"This year's fishery appears to be shaping up as a fairly normal season," Tweit said. "Even so, we always have to take a conservative approach in setting fishing seasons until we can determine how many fish are actually moving past Bonneville Dam."

Based on the preseason projections, the two states approved initial fishing seasons for waters both below and above the dam:

Below Bonneville Dam: Catch guidelines approved today allocate 6,680 upriver fish for a 38-day fishing season below Bonneville Dam from March 1 through April 7. The fishery will be open to both boat and bank anglers from Buoy 10 to Beacon Rock, and to bank anglers only upriver to the dam.

Above the dam: Spring chinook fishing will also be open March 16 through May 7 from the Tower Island power lines upriver to the Washington/Oregon border near Umatilla. The season will run for 53 days with an initial catch guideline of 900 upriver chinook. Bank fishing will also be allowed from the dam upriver to the power lines.

Additional information about fishing rules in effect during the upcoming spring chinook season is posted on WDFW's website at https://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/regulations/