An important population of listed steelhead in Idaho’s Snake River basin has been getting the help it needs to boost its numbers – removal of barriers, increasing habitat complexity, fewer scouring spring flows and higher and more consistent summer streamflows.
Fisheries biologists are predicting that a smaller run of upriver spring Chinook salmon will return this year to the Columbia River than had returned last year, and that fewer of those fish will be of natural origin, continuing a years’ long trend, according to a report released last week by Oregon and Washington fish and wildlife agencies.
With another good run of ESA-listed smelt expected this year into the Columbia River and a few lower river tributaries, the two-state Columbia River Compact approved this week commercial research gillnetting for the small fish through mid-March.
The early run size forecast for spring Chinook salmon next year into the Columbia River basin is slightly lower than the 2023 actual return of the spring fish and much lower than last year’s early run size forecast.
More than 17,000 adult coho salmon and nearly 5,000 wild spring Chinook salmon returned to Portland General Electric’s North Fork Dam on the Clackamas River this fall, according to the utility.
For the first time in more than a decade, the Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe is exercising its treaty right to harvest salmon from the Elwha River.
With an updated and higher fall Chinook run forecast, recreational angling for salmon will continue through the end of the year on the mainstem Columbia River from Buoy 10 to the Oregon/Washington border near Pasco, WA.
Pacific lamprey are returning to the Columbia and Snake rivers this year in record numbers, according to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Nez Perce Tribe.
With a higher in-season forecast of Chinook salmon tracking above the 5- and 10-year average, Oregon and Washington reopened all the Columbia River downstream of Bonneville Dam to recreational angling for Chinook and hatchery coho as of Sept. 22. The reopening is for the remainder of this year.