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Reports > 2014 > January > Friday 31
Friday, January 31, 2014
By Dave Graybill
I have been trying to find the forecasts for salmon returns to the Columbia River for the coming year. They should be out soon for all species. I have received the projections for spring salmon, though, and it is good news for us here in Central Washington. It is estimated that 227,000 spring salmon will be returning to rivers above Bonneville Dam. This compares with just 123,000 last year. As you recall, spring salmon fishing was very poor last year in our region. The popular Icicle River spring salmon fishery was very disappointing. Sport angling catches were very low, and I didn’t even fish the river last season. As many of you know, early estimates, particularly for spring salmon, have been notoriously wrong in the past. They consistently gave high estimates and the commercial fisheries took their quotas against those numbers—only to have the numbers adjusted to a lower estimate after they were done. Now there is a 30 percent buffer in place for the early season, until the forecast is updated with information about actual returns. This assures better escapement to rivers beyond the lower Columbia River. Keep your fingers crossed. We see the Wenatchee open to springer fishing this year.