salmon returns to the Columbia River are expected to rebound in a big way this
year, according to forecasts produced by federal, state and tribal fishery
abundance (before any fisheries) of Columbia River early and late run coho is
expected to be more than three times larger than last year. A forecast released
this week by the Technical Advisory Committee says ocean abundance this year
should total 964,100 adult fish as compared to a final estimate of 301,500 for
the 2013 run.
2003-2012 annual average return to the mouth of the Columbia, which subtracts
ocean harvest and other mortality, is 434,100 fish, according to the July 2013
joint staff report produced by the Oregon and Washington departments of fish
2014 forecast include an ocean abundance estimate of 526,600 Columbia River
early-run fish and 437,500 late-run coho as compared to 190,800 and 110,700 estimates
respectively last year.
adults are typically age-3 fish, and return to freshwater after only one year
in the ocean. Early stock coho enter the Columbia River from mid-August to
early October with peak entry occurring in early September. In the ocean, early
stock coho tend to remain near the Oregon and southern Washington coasts and
most migrate southward from the Columbia River and are therefore referred to as
stock coho enter the Columbia River from mid-September through December with
peak entry occurring in mid-October, according to the joint staff report. In
the ocean, late stock coho tend to migrate northward from the Columbia River
along the Washington coast and Vancouver Island, and are therefore referred to
as Type N.
River coho return primarily to Oregon and Washington hatcheries downstream from
Bonneville Dam, although substantial hatchery and some natural production now
occurs in areas upstream of Bonneville Dam.
natural coho production areas above Bonneville Dam include the Spokane, Yakima,
Wenatchee, Entiat, Methow and Snake rivers. The majority of coho presently
passing Bonneville Dam are from the U.S. v. Oregon Management Plan mandated
hatchery releases of lower river coho stocks in the Yakima, Klickitat,
Wenatchee and Methow rivers in Washington, the Umatilla in Oregon and Idaho’s
releases outside the Klickitat are primarily intended to restore naturally
producing coho to appropriate habitats above Bonneville Dam, most recently in
the Snake, Yakima, Methow, and Entiat rivers. Coho destined for areas above
Bonneville Dam have represented an increasing percentage of the total return in
response to increased releases above Bonneville Dam.