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2016 Chinook Returns to Columbia Forecast
Higher Than Average, Sockeye Lower

by Laura Berg
NW Fishletter, January 4, 2016

A Snake River sockeye swims in a tanker truck after it was trapped at Lower Granite Dam this summer. In an effort to help the sockeye stressed out from warming water temperatures and low river flows, crews trapped sockeye and transported them near Boise. The U.S. v. Oregon Technical Advisory Committee made the 2016 projections in mid-December for the earliest returning salmon runs.

For upriver spring Chinook, the 2016 forecast is 188,000 fish. Last year, 290,000 spring Chinook returned to the river; the 2015 preseason forecast was 232,500 fish.

The 2016 prediction for summer Chinook is 93,300 fish. In 2015, some 126,900 summer Chinook came back to the river. The 2015 forecast was 73,000.

An estimated 101,600 sockeye are projected to return in 2016, compared with about 512,500 in 2015. The 2015 forecast was 394,000 fish. The 2016 estimate includes 2,100 sockeye returning to the Snake River.

The 2015 bright fall Chinook run reached nearly a million fish-the TAC would only venture that these upriver fall Chinook are expected to come back in above-average numbers "similar to recent returns."

The TAC biologists noted that the 2015 coho jacks, one indicator of the following year's return, were reduced from previous years. Biologists have yet to determine upriver summer steelhead estimates.

Federal, state and tribal biologists make up the TAC, which was formed by parties to the U.S. v. Oregon federal court case. The membership and function are described in the 2008-2017 Management Agreement.

Laura Berg
2016 Chinook Returns to Columbia Forecast Higher Than Average, Sockeye Lower
NW Fishletter, January 4, 2016

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