The Columbia River 2024 Spring Salmon Forecast
The recently released 2024 salmon forecasts for the Columbia River have generated mixed sentiments among anglers. Although the overall numbers are slightly lower than anticipated, there are still promising prospects for successful Columbia river spring salmon fishing in Oregon.
One of the key factors to consider is the 30 percent runsize buffer. Anglers can apply this buffer to the upriver forecast and adjust their expectations accordingly. Additionally, taking into account the relatively low percentage of ESA-listed wild Snake River fish and nontribal allocations can help provide a clearer sense of how many springers might be available for harvest next season.
It’s important to note that the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) and Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) will determine and set the actual fisheries for the upcoming season later this winter. So while the forecasts offer a glimpse into what to expect, the final decisions will be based on various factors such as conservation needs, allocation considerations, and escapement goals.
Moving on to the specific tributaries, here’s a breakdown of the forecasts provided by the WDFW:
– Cowlitz River: The spring Chinook forecast for the Cowlitz River is greater than the recent 5-year average, but less than the 10-year average return. This indicates a potentially productive season, although not as robust as in previous years.
– Kalama River: The forecast for spring Chinook in the Kalama River is similar to the recent 5-year average return and lower than the 10-year average return. While it may not be a standout season, there is still a likelihood of decent catches.
– Lewis River: The spring Chinook forecast for the Lewis River is similar to the recent 5-year average return and higher than the 10-year average return. This suggests that there may be a good number of fish returning to the Lewis River for anglers to target.
– Wind River: The spring Chinook forecast for the Wind River aligns with the recent 10-year average return. Although not exceeding expectations, anglers can expect a season similar to previous years.
– Little White Salmon River (LWS): The forecast for spring Chinook in the LWS River is slightly lower than both the recent 5-year and 10-year average returns. This indicates that the numbers may not be as plentiful as desired, but there is still a possibility of some successful fishing opportunities.
– Klickitat River: The spring Chinook forecast for the Klickitat River is similar to the recent 5-year average return and lower than the recent 10-year average return. While it may not be an outstanding year for this river, there are chances for anglers to hook some fish.
On a brighter note, the sockeye salmon forecast for the Columbia River is relatively robust at 401,700 fish. This includes a significant number of Lake Wenatchee sockeye (97,000) and a substantial run heading towards the Okanogan River basin (288,700). Additionally, the Yakima River is expected to see a potential high mark for the tribally regenerated sockeye run with a forecast of 12,100 fish. These numbers offer a promising outlook for sockeye enthusiasts seeking a rewarding fishing experience in those areas.
Definitely! Anglers on the Columbia River have reason to be excited and hopeful for a successful fishing season, despite the lower salmon forecasts. With the anticipation of the upcoming spring Chinook and sockeye salmon runs, it’s time to prepare your favorite smiley blade, Maglips and spin glows, get your boats ready, and stock up on coon shrimp. And if you want to maximize your chances of hooking a prized salmon, consider booking a trip with your favorite Columbia River fishing guide. They have the knowledge, experience, and equipment to help make your fishing adventure thrilling and successful.
In terms of summer Chinook, the Upper Columbia is expected to see a forecast of 53,000 fish. While this is slightly below the preseason forecast of 85,400, it is important to remember that the actual numbers that returned to Chelan and Brewster last season were still relatively good. Columbia River salmon fishing guides are undoubtedly looking forward to the upcoming season and are eager to provide an exceptional fishing experience for all.
In summary, although the 2024 salmon forecasts for the Columbia River may not meet every angler’s high expectations, there are still opportunities for successful fishing. By considering the runsize buffer, tributary forecasts, and sockeye predictions, anglers can plan their fishing trips strategically and increase their chances of a rewarding experience. With the guidance and expertise of Columbia River salmon fishing guides, anglers can navigate the fluctuations in fish numbers and make the most out of the upcoming season.