Spring Chinook runs rise
Salmon managers from Washington and Oregon estimate 248,500 spring chinook salmon will return to the Columbia River this year – an increase of 20 percent from 2017. Spring chinook are a bellwether species that reflects the overall health anadromous fish runs in the region. The number of Columbia spring chinook includes 166,700 upriver fish bound for waters above Bonneville Dam and 81,820 fish expected to return to rivers below the dam.
Bill Tweit, a special assistant for Columbia River fisheries at the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), noted that the upriver forecast is up 44 percent from last year, but still 10 percent below the 10-year average.