June 14th, 2012
The Columbia River Compact met at 10:00 a.m. Wednesday, June 13, 2012 in the River Street room in Cathlamet, Washington for a face-to-face hearing to consider Treaty Tribal and non-Indian commercial fisheries for summer Chinook and sockeye. Upriver summer Chinook are not listed under the Endangered Species Act, and are considered healthy. The preseason forecast for summer Chinook is for a return of 91,200 adult fish to the river’s mouth, which is similar to last year’s forecast, compared to the actual return of 80,600 adult fish in 2011.
The preseason forecast for sockeye is the far bigger story this summer, with a predicted return of 462,000 bluebacks to the river’s mouth. This would be the largest sockeye return on record since record-keeping began at the Bonneville fish ladders in 1938. Due to the presence of a small number of ESA-listed Snake River sockeye in the combined Columbia/SnakeRiver run, non-Indian impacts are limited to 1% of the run, which precludes a directed fishery based on overall abundance of healthy sockeye stocks. Those from the Okanogan system have been particularly healthy for some time, and have greatly increased in abundance in recent years.
Summer Fact Sheet No. 1 and the subsequent Compact Action Notice are appended as PDF files.