saying last week they would likely not continue gillnetting this week, Treaty
commercial gillnetters added another 3.5 days of fishing this week – Wednesday,
July 12, through Friday, July 14 – in the reservoir upstream of Bonneville Dam.
harvest numbers projection (of summer chinook) are much more solid this week,”
Jon Hess, fishery scientist in the Fisheries Management division of the
Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission, explained at a two-state Columbia
River Compact meeting Tuesday. He added that once the most recent fishing
period ends today, the Tribal allocation of summer chinook remaining would
still be nearly 6,000 fish. The sockeye salmon allocation would be 1,484 fish.
in approving the additional fishing days, Oregon and Washington leaders of the
Compact, which oversees recreational and commercial fishing in the mainstem
Columbia River from the river’s mouth to the Oregon-Washington border, worried
about the impacts continued fishing – both Tribal and recreational – may have
on sockeye salmon and wild steelhead, both arriving in the river in
dramatically low numbers.
highly concerned about the Snake River sockeye and summer steelhead returns,”
Tucker Jones, Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife manager of Ocean Salmon
and Columbia River fisheries and representing Oregon at this week’s Compact
meeting, Tuesday, July 11. “The significant downgrade for sockeye, by my
calculations, leaves just 638 Snake River sockeye at the river’s mouth. And the
Skamania stock of steelhead was just 31 percent of the forecast.”
51,036 adult summer chinook had passed Bonneville Dam as of July 10, according
to the Compact’s Summer Fact Sheet #4 -- http://www.dfw.state.or.us/fish/OSCRP/CRM/FS/17/17_07_11sf4.pdf
number is somewhat above expectations based on the pre-season forecast, which
was 63,100 fish. An in-season forecast raised that number of summer chinook to
July 12, some 83,824 sockeye had been counted at the dam and that is well below
expectations based on the pre-season forecast of 198,500 fish (that initial
forecast included 1,400 Snake River fish). The U.S. v Oregon Technical Advisory
Committee, which forecasts run sizes for fisheries managers, cut that forecast
by more than 50 percent in recent weeks to 90,400 fish. Just 135 sockeye have
crossed Lower Granite Dam, the upstream dam of the four lower Snake River dams.
Last year on July 12, 555 sockeye had passed the dam and the 10-year average is
met Monday, July 10, maintaining its current in-season projections for upper
Columbia summer chinook and sockeye but said it will meet again July 17 to
review run sizes for both stocks.
sockeye run is coming in even lower this week (a little more than 1,200 per day
and just 695 passed on July 12) than the latest updated run size of 90,400 fish
would warrant. The 83,824 fish over the dam by July 12 this year is just 28
percent of the 10-year average of 301,226. Last year the count was 331,073,
according to the Fish Passage Center (www.fpc.org).
a result of the poor numbers of sockeye returning to the river, the Tribes
adjusted for an expectation that the sockeye run size may be downgraded again
when TAC meets next week. Rather than base the Treaty allocation for sockeye on
the current forecast of 90,400 fish, the tribes chose to use a lower management
run size of 89,000 to be conservative, according to the Fact Sheet.
on the updated run sizes according to the U.S. v. Oregon Management Agreement,
treaty Indian fisheries are allocated 21,225 adult summer Chinook and 6,230
sockeye (based on the conservative run size estimate of 89,000 sockeye),” the
Fact Sheet says. “There is no specific harvest rate limit for steelhead in
summer season fisheries, but harvest of steelhead is low in the summer and is
expected to remain within recent average rates. Actual allowed fishery impacts
are based on actual not forecast run sizes.”
project that by this evening, Friday, July 14, the total catch by both
gillnetters and platform and hook and line fishers would be 15,231 summer
chinook, 4,746 sockeye and 419 steelhead (the Tribes don’t track whether a
steelhead is wild or hatchery).
final Skamania steelhead run size (April 1 to June 30) at Bonneville Dam was
just 3,491 including 1,236 unclipped fish. This is the lowest total run since
at least 1970 and the lowest unclipped run since 1999, the Fact Sheet said.
of July 12, some 7,519 summer steelhead had passed the dam. Of those, 3,082
were wild fish. The 10-year average on July 12 is 32,684, with 14,175 wild
fish, while last year’s count on July 12 was 26,634 with 11,140 of those wild.
The 50 percent passage date is June 16.
to the June 28 Summer Fact Sheet Number 2b (http://www.dfw.state.or.us/fish/OSCRP/CRM/FS/17/17_06_28sf2b.pdf), upriver stocks of
summer steelhead migrate past Bonneville Dam April 1 through October 31, and
those that pass prior to July 1 are considered Skamania stock, while steelhead
passing July 1 through October 31 are classified by length as either A-run or B-run
fish. Summer steelhead handled in Columbia River fisheries downstream of
Bonneville are considered lower river stock in May and June and upriver stock
July through October.
preseason forecast for upriver summer steelhead over Bonneville Dam was 119,400,
July through October. That is 38 percent of the 2007-2016 average of 315,100
fish. TAC has not adjusted that forecast.
11 Compact Action Notice is at http://www.dfw.state.or.us/fish/OSCRP/CRM/CAN/17/17711_notice.pdf.
July 7, 2017, “Summer Chinook Fishing Resumes Below Bonneville, Wild Summer
Steelhead Passage To Date Very Low,” http://www.cbbulletin.com/439220.aspx