Salmon anglers are getting an early glimpse of what spring salmon fisheries could look like in the Lower Columbia tributaries, and it’s fairly good in a couple of spots and pitiful in others.
Earlier last month, a Columbia River forecast of 160,400 upriver adult spring chinook was announced, which is a modest run and ranks right in the middle of all forecasts made during the past 25 years. The largest spring adult chinook return on record was 541,000.
Many anglers shift their efforts to the tributaries once the Lower Columbia River catch guidelines are achieved in early spring, but there is a lot of unknown on how the dismal returns at places like the Willamette will affect fishing restrictions or closures.
The Cowlitz spring chinook forecast is 17,100; Kalama is 3,100; Lewis is 700; and Willamette is 40,200.