How will the fishing be this spring? Could be better, could be worse

Winter has officially arrived, but many salmon anglers are setting their sights on spring. State, federal and tribal fishery managers met earlier this month and announced a forecast of 160,400 upriver adult spring chinook destined for the Columbia River, which historically reflects a run size that isn’t the best or worst.

“If you go back to 1990 it ranks as the 14th-largest, and right in the middle, of all spring chinook forecasts,” said Joe Hymer, a state Fish and Wildlife biologist. “Definitely better than some historic runs, but not as good as others including this year (run size of 187,816).” The largest spring adult chinook return on record is 541,000 (forecast was 364,600) in 2001, and the worst is 12,792 (12,000 was the forecast) in 1995.

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