NESPELEM - The Colville Confederated Tribes’ Fish and Wildlife Department announced, Wednesday, the summer chinook forecast is projected to be “the lowest in 20 years” and thus the fishery will be limited.
The forecasted return for summer chinook into the Upper Columbia is 35,900 and the Colville Tribal allocation is approximately 550.
“In addition to that modest harvest opportunity, we anticipate a limited availability of hatchery surplus fish for distribution to tribal members,” reads a CTFW release.
The release further notes that spring chinook forecast is also low, noting fishing and surplus opportunities are also anticipated to be “extremely limited.”
In total, the Upper Columbia total for spring chinook is estimated to be 11,200.
The forecasted return for sockeye currently sits at 94,400, with 18,300 estimated to return to the Wenatchee River, 74,500 to the Okanogan River, 1,300 to the Yakima River, 100 to the Deschutes River and 200 to the Snake River.
For sockeye, the CTFW release states, “Based on the 2019 sockeye run forecast, the Tribe is anticipating a harvest allocation of approximately 5,000 sockeye.
The 2019 Chief Joseph Dam Tailrace and Mainstem Columbia River Spring Chinook Fishery is set to commence after the conclusion of the Chief Joseph First Salmon Ceremony on May 23. It is expected to remain open until June 30, unless closed by the CTFW director.
CTFW will issue updates and changes to the fishing season on their Facebook page, CCT F&W.