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Fall Fishery Forecast

Fall Season fisheries are managed based on harvest rate schedules for Upriver Bright chinook and B steelhead in the U.S. v. Oregon Management Agreement.

2013 Pre-season Fall Forecast
Stock Columbia River Mouth Bonneville Dam
Upriver Bright 434,730 370,380
Mid-Col. Bright 96,340 62,780
Spring Cr. Tule 36,720 22,120
Total Chinook 567,130 458,880
Steelhead 322,600
Coho 135,440

 

The 2013 forecast for Upriver Bright fall chinook is very large. The Spring Creek tule forecast is fairly small as is the forecast for B Steelhead. If the runs came right at the forecast levels, the tribes would be able to catch 30% of the river mouth run size of URB’s and 15% of the Bonneville run size of B steelhead. This could be as much as 130,000 URB’s and 4,700 B steelhead. The actual allowed catch will depend on the actual run sizes for these stocks and the runs are always different from the forecast.

The abundance of URB’s versus tules and B steelhead will make managing the fall season fisheries challenging. Utilizing a mesh size restriction will likely be needed.

Some fishers have already suggested other ideas about how to best manage the fisheries. Should gillnet fisheries begin a bit earlier than usual?  Should platform fisheries use the same mesh size limits as the gillnet fishery? What else could be done to maximize the chance that the tribal fishery can catch as many URB’s as possible without reaching the B steelhead harvest limit? If you have any ideas, let your fishery department know.

Non-Indian fisheries are expected to be similar in structure to 2012 fisheries with a couple exceptions. The mainstem mark selective fishery that was done last year will be repeated along with the allowance to retain clipped chinook at Buoy 10 in September. In previous years Buoy 10 has only allowed the retention of coho in September (following the chinook and coho retention period in August). In 2013, we also expect the states to propose a mark selective commercial coho tangle net fishery in early October.

 

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