Wednesday April 19, 2023

The Columbian

Spring chinook, brandishing their silver bellies, are making a bright return through the Columbia River’s blue waters. And so, too, anglers are beginning to gather along the river’s main stem and its channels.

As of April 13, 637 spring chinook have passed Bonneville Dam, which is below the 10-year average of 2,210 on the same date.

Ben Anderson, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife spokesperson, said it’s important to note that these are early numbers, as runs vary from year to year and don’t hit a peak until late April or early May. Lasting cool temperatures from a frigid March may also slow their timing.

Washington and Oregon fishery managers forecast this year’s fishing seasons for the Columbia River to look similar to 2022, with upriver spring Chinook expected to fall just short of 200,000.

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