Anemic chinook return predicted

The Lewiston Tribune –

Anglers can expect another ho-hum year for spring and summer chinook returning to the Snake River and its tributaries, according to a forecast from a group of state, tribal and federal fisheries managers.

The Technical Advisory Committee is forecasting about 56,400 spring and summer chinook bound for the Snake River will return at least as far as the mouth of the Columbia River, about 53 percent of the 10-year average. The forecast includes 9,600 wild fish and 46,800 hatchery fish.

Biologists from the Idaho Department of Fish and Game are expecting 37,133 spring and summer chinook to return past Lower Granite Dam. That total includes 28,644 adipose-fin clipped hatchery fish, 1,424 unclipped hatchery fish and 7,065 wild fish.

Most of the hatchery fish forecast to return above Lower Granite Dam, about 26,000, will be bound for hatcheries in Idaho, including 11,393 to the Clearwater River and 14,565 to the Salmon River. The hatchery component returning to the Salmon River includes 8,982 bound for Rapid River Hatchery. Another 1,541 hatchery chinook are forecast to return to the upper reaches of Hells Canyon.