More salmon but similar seasons likely

first_imgHuge runs of fall chinook and coho salmon are forecast to enter the Columbia River in 2014, but it appears sport-fishing seasons will be similar to a year ago.State, federal and tribal biologists predict a return of 1.6 million fall chinook destined for the Columbia beginning in August, which would be the highest return since record keeping began in 1938 with completion of Bonneville DamAnother 964,000 coho will be swimming off shore, with about 700,000 anticipated to enter the Columbia after ocean sport and commercial seasons.Despite the wealth of salmon, a forecasted return of 110,000 fall chinook headed for hatcheries on lower Columbia River tributaries is the weak stock upon which harvest rates are determined.Those hatchery fish are surrogates for wild-spawning tule fall chinook, which are similar but harder to forecast.Officials from the Washington and Oregon departments of Fish and Wildlife met Monday in Vancouver with leaders from Columbia River sport and commercial fishing interests.The underlying message: There’s still lots to be determined, but fisheries akin to 2013 — perhaps with some tweaks — are likely this August, September and October.last_img read more