Another, even bigger, version of 2013’s record run of fall chinook to the Columbia River is forecast for this year – the largest flood of salmon since fish counts began at the new Bonneville Dam in 1938.
State, federal and tribal fish managers expect 1.6 million fall chinook salmon to head for the mouth of the Columbia this summer. That’s a 26 percent increase from the 1.26 million record run in 2013 that allowed anglers to set harvest records from the lower river through the Hanford Reach.
Add to that a huge forecast of 964,000 coho salmon to the Columbia and you have the makings of an epic fishing season.
“If there is ever a year folks want to take time off and catch fish, this would be the year,’’ said Robert Moxley, a member of the bistate Columbia River Recreational Adviser Group. “I’m more excited than you can possibly imagine.’’