Salmon Fishing Is Going To Be A Lot Harder This Year
You're going to have to get creative if you want to hook into a king this year.
The official forecast numbers are out and many runs will fall under federal protection the forecast is so grim.
The numbers were developed by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) and treaty Indian tribes as a part of the North Of Falcon season setting process and were released during a public meeting in Olympia.
Fishery managers reported that forecasts for chinook, coho, sockeye, and chum salmon were all expected to see low returns.
"We will definitely have to be creative in developing salmon fisheries this year," Kyle Adicks, salmon policy lead for WDFW, said.
Adicks said the low salmon returns are the result of a variety of factors, including another year of poor ocean conditions. The forecasts are based on varying environmental indicators, such as ocean conditions, as well as surveys of spawning salmon, and the number of juvenile salmon migrating to marine waters.
WDFW predicts approximately 236,500 "upriver brights" will return to areas of the Columbia River above Bonneville Dam. That is down more than 50 percent from the most recent 10-year average.
An estimated 286,200 coho are projected to return to the Columbia River this year, down nearly 100,000 fish from the 2017 forecast. About 279,300 actually returned last year to the river, where some coho stocks are listed for protection under the federal Endangered Species Act (ESA).
Some salmon fisheries in the Columbia River will likely be more restrictive than last year, Adicks said.