Shad, Sockeye Stage Spectacularly
by Bill Monroe
Some good news for a change is happening at Bonneville Dam.
And no, it's even better than the quarter-million-plus daily shad count, which, if it continues through the next day or two, will break the record 5.4 million mark set in 2004.
At this writing Tuesday morning, the shad total stands at 5,125,915 after Monday's daily count of 226,854.
Shad fishing has been, well, off the hook below the dam and not just at the shad rack. Find any relatively shallow (6-20 feet spot with moderate current.
Shad fishing also remains good in the Willamette River at Oregon City (and, by the way, spring chinook are still being caught in the Portland harbor - look for boats clustered in the early morning from St. Johns Bridge to the head of Multnomah Channel).
But the best fishing news - although the fishery remains closed - is a surprisingly strong showing of sockeye salmon. By Monday evening, 103,977 had crossed Bonneville, already well above the pre-season forecast of 99,000.
Joe Hymer of the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, said the sockeye run is on track to be the 7th highest since 1980.
Hymer said biologists from Oregon, Washington and the tribes haven't re-assessed the summer chinook run based on Bonneville counts (37,902 as of Monday), but will review the numbers next week against the prediction of 67,300. He said the run appears weaker than expected.
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